Macular Degeneration FAQs

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 50. The eye disease occurs when the central portion of the retina, known as the macula, wears down. There is no cure for macular degeneration, but our optometrist at Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates in Columbia, SC, can decide the best form of treatment to help slow the progression of the disease.


What Are the Two Types of Macular Degeneration?

The two forms of macular degeneration that affects your central vision are:

  • Dry: This form of AMD causes yellow deposits called drusen to develop under the retina.
  • Wet: This type causes abnormal blood vessels to grow under the retina. Over time, they can leak fluid or blood and scar the macula.

Who Is at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

You have a higher chance of developing macular degeneration if you have one of the following factors:

  • A family history of macular degeneration
  • Being over the age of 50
  • Suffer from high blood pressure
  • Are overweight
  • Eat a high saturated fat diet
  • Smoke cigarettes

What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

In the early stages of AMD, there are often no noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Straight lines looking like they are bent
  • Reduced central vision in one or both of your eyes
  • Seeing colors less bright
  • Needing brighter lights when doing close-up work
  • Increased blurry vision
  • Difficulty adapting to dim lights
  • Trouble recognizing faces

How Is AMD Diagnosed?

Macular degeneration can be detected during an annual eye exam. During your routine visit, our optometrist may ask you to look at an Amsler grid, which is a graph that allows you to notice any blurry or blank spots in your vision. We may also dilate your eyes with special eye drops to widen the pupil, enabling us to view the inside of your eye. To detect abnormal blood vessels or changes in the retina, our doctor may inject fluorescein in your arm. As the fluorescein reaches your blood vessels in the eye, we will take photos of the retina.

How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?

As mentioned above, AMD does not have a cure. Our eye doctor may suggest that you take some nutritional supplements to help slow vision loss, if you have dry AMD. Wet macular degeneration can be treated with anti-VEGF medications as they stop abnormal blood vessels from developing in the retina. Laser surgery is another optometry option that can treat wet AMD. The number of blood vessels forming or leaking in the retina can be reduced with laser light beam.

Early Diagnosis and Treatment Is Key to Preserving Eyesight

If you are experiencing the symptoms of macular degeneration, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates in Columbia, SC, as soon as possible. Delaying treatment can have consequences to your vision. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 803-254-6306.


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Meet Our Patients

  • "Dr. Park is such a sweet person and consequently, makes an excellent doctor. Not only is she caring and compassionate with her patients, she participates actively in her community in "giving back". If you are looking for a great doctor to care for your vision, look no further--she's the one!"
  • "Very pleasant and knowledgeable. Dr. Park was excellent with a great chair side manner. Everyone there was very friendly and helpful. We will definitely be back with the kids for their exams."
  • "Dr. Park is the best. The staff in the office are so helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. Every time we go it’s like visiting family. I've been with the office for 11 years and would recommend the office to anyone!"
  • "Dr. Park is awesome. She is patient and genuinely cares about helping me. I had eye problems so severe they were preventing me from going to work weeks at a time. She took her time and researched my problem and was able to find a solution. Not to mention helped me finally get relief from so much pain.
    I would recommend Dr Park everyone!"
  • "She is a passionate doctor with a great heart and sense of humor. The staff is very welcoming and professional. You won't be disappointed. Highly recommended."
  • "Because of the positive experiences at Dr. Dorothy J. Park & Associates, my husband and I will drive nearly an hour making her office the new home for our eye care needs and continue to highly recommend this office to others. BIG thanks to this fantastic group of people!"