Macular Degeneration in Yardley, PA
It's been estimated that over 9 million people in America are living with a condition known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and by 2050 the prevalence is expected to jump to around 17.8 million. Our Yardley eye doctor, Dr. Brian Cohen, has met and worked with many of these individuals living with this condition.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration Explained
The macula is a central spot located on the inside of the back of your eye. In people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the macula begins to thin and deteriorate over time. There are two main types:
- Wet (aka neovascular or exudative): the macula degenerates because many small blood vessels grow behind the retina and begin to leak fluids, cause scarring on the macula
- Dry (non-neovascular or atrophic): pigment cells deposit in the macula or the macula may simply thin and degrade due to aging; small yellow deposits known as drusen can crop up in and around the macula (drusen is believed to be more of a symptom rather than a cause)
Advancing age is a significant risk factor; genes are also believed to play an important role. It's not entirely clear what determines who gets it and who doesn't, but you may be able to reduce your risk by protecting your eyes from UV radiation, not smoking, managing your underlying health conditions (like high blood pressure and diabetes), and eating a healthy diet. People with light-colored irises and people who are overweight also appear to be at increased risk for developing AMD, or for having AMD more quickly progress to advanced stages.
AMD Symptoms & How a Doctor of Optometry in Yardley Helps People Manage Your AMD
If AMD begins to develop, it can take a long time before symptoms and signs show up. The hallmark symptom is painless, gradual vision loss in the center of the visual field; peripheral vision typically remains intact. Of note, our doctor of optometry in Yardley can diagnose both dry and wet AMD on a comprehensive eye exam even before any symptoms appear. This allows you to receive earlier treatment in order to slow the progression of the disease and help you manage any vision loss (though no cure is currently available). Such treatments may include:
- Nutritional recommendations (particularly for dry type, which if left unmanaged may progress into wet type)
- Drugs to slow the proliferation of leaky blood vessels (for wet type)
- Low vision strategies, tools, and teaching
Wondering if You May Have Age-Related Macular Degeneration? Contact Our Yardley Optometrist for Help
Dr. Cohen has been a Yardley optometrist since 1997. He's helped thousands of people achieve the best possible eyesight no matter what type of condition they're facing, including age-related macular degeneration.
If it's time to schedule your next eye exam or would like to learn more about our services here at Yardley Eye Care, contact us now at (215) 369-3937.