Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and afflicts more than ten million people. Glaucoma and cataracts receive a lot of justified attention for their blinding effects on eyesight, but they are not the most prolific blinders of Americans. That dubious distinction goes to macular degeneration. Fortunately, Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates in Columbia can help diagnose, treat, and help you to defeat this affliction. With early detection and proper care, your eye doctor can help you keep your vision in focus.
What is Macular Degeneration?
When the central part of the retina suffers deterioration the eye no longer correctly sends images to the brain via the optic nerve. The macula is located at the center of the retina and is tasked with controlling each eye’s central vision and gives your eyes the ability to recognize people, read text, and even drive your car.
There are two kinds of degeneration of the macula with “dry” degeneration occurring about ninety percent of the time. That happens slowly over time and occurs gradually as the macula dries out. “Wet” degeneration happens when new blood vessels bleed or leak fluid that causes pressure on the macula and makes it bulge or lift from its normal position. The distortion on the macula can occur suddenly and result in total loss of vision. The suddenness of its onset makes early detection particularly important.
What Are Some Signs My Eyes Might Be Affected?
As an age-related eye disease, macular degeneration occurs in three general stages. The early stages might not reveal itself due to very little and only a very gradual loss of vision. This is the best time for your eye doctor to diagnose the problem and initiate a treatment program that could preserve your eyesight for life.
The intermediate stage still might not result in much vision loss, but your eye doctor can diagnose elevated levels of deposits beneath the retina and other risk factors that commonly cause macular degeneration. If the condition progresses to late-stage degeneration, the potential for a total loss of vision becomes imminent and could occur very quickly. At least some vision loss is noticeable by now, but you might be too late to save your vision. The earlier stages are the best chances for preserving your eyesight.
How Can I Learn More About Treatment Options?
If your eyesight is weakening, macular degeneration might be the culprit. Instead of guessing what the problem might be, our online scheduler lets you pick the day and time to get examined and have your eye condition diagnosed accurately. Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates in Columbia is highly experienced in diagnosing and treating the many causes of macular degeneration and helping people continue to see clearly. Schedule an appointment with us online or call us today at (803) 254-6306.