Macular degeneration explained
Any challenges related to our vision can cause great concern, regardless of how common a condition may be. Macular degeneration is one such condition affecting a good number of individuals aged fifty and over. This common eye condition, in fact, accounts for the majority of cases of vision loss in this age category. Rather than live in fear that macular degeneration could affect you at some point in your life, gain an understanding of the condition and how an Orange County macular degeneration test in our comfortable office can help you catch any vision changes early.[img1]Macular degeneration, which may affect one or both eyes, is a condition that occurs at its own chosen pace. Some patients experience changes in vision over years, while others see a drastic change. What one may experience at any rate of speed is a loss of clarity in vision, as the macula is responsible for providing the fine details of what we visualize. The danger that comes from the degeneration of this part of the eye is that one may not be able to perform close-up work or read as well as they once could. Should macular degeneration progress, the ability to easily recognize faces or drive a car could be impacted, even though complete blindness is not common.
Although there are certain risk factors associated with macular degeneration, which we can help to identify with an Orange County macular degeneration test, the condition could occur in anyone. Those with a family history of the condition are encouraged to receive regular eye examinations and to avoid smoking, as research has shown that this habit doubles the risk of developing macular degeneration.
Through a thorough eye exam, macular degeneration can be detected even before symptoms present themselves. A comprehensive eye exam may include:
- Dilation, which is performed with the placement of eye drops. These drops dilate the pupils, which widens them and allows Dr. Salib to easily view the back of the eye, where the retina and macula are located. While the eyes are dilated, the optic nerve can also be viewed.
- Visual acuity testing, which is accomplished with an eye chart that measures vision at various distances.
- The Amsler grid, which tracks changes in central vision.
- A Fluorescein angiogram, which involves an injection of dye into the arm. Within a few minutes, the dye travels to the blood vessels in the eyes, which allows us to determine if there is a leaking blood vessel.
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Recommended treatment for macular degeneration may include diet and lifestyle changes, or medical intervention. It will be based on the type of macular degeneration detected.
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