Macular degeneration is a serious condition of the eye. It occurs when the macula thins, causing blurry central vision. This condition is most common in people over 60-years-old, and there is no cure. Fortunately, the professionals at AB Vision Jamaica can create a treatment plan to help slow the progression of the disease. We are proud to serve residents of Kingston, Jamaica, and Linstead, Jamaica.
Who Is at Risk for Macular Degeneration?
Although anyone can develop macular degeneration, three are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing this condition.
- Age: People over 60 are more likely to develop this disease.
- Family history: If you have a family member with the condition, you are more likely to develop it yourself.
- Obesity: Studies have shown that people with weight problems are more likely to develop macular degeneration.
- Cardiovascular disease: Studies have shown that those with diseases of the heart and blood vessels are at a higher risk of experiencing macular degeneration.
- Smoking: People who use tobacco products are more likely to develop this condition.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
In most cases, you will develop macular degeneration in one eye, and soon after, the other eye is affected. In the early stages, you won't experience any symptoms at all. Over time, you may develop the following symptoms:
- Visual distortion, such as seeing straight lines as bent
- Worsening central vision in one eye or both
- Trouble adjusting to dark rooms
- Printed words appear blurry
- Needing brighter lights when doing closeup work
- Decreased brightness of colors
- Trouble recognizing faces
- Blind spots in your field of vision
Diagnosing Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can be diagnosed during an annual eye exam. During the exam, our ophthalmologist will dilate your eyes to get a good look at the retina. If we find yellow deposits called drusen, we will perform further tests to diagnose the condition.
- Amsler grid test: Our eye doctor will show you a grid. If any of the lines appear broken or bent, it is a sign of macular degeneration.
- Fluorescein angiography: During this test, our ophthalmologist will take photos with a special camera that shows the growth of abnormal blood vessels and retinal changes, which are signs of wet macular degeneration.
- Optical coherence tomography: This imaging test can show signs of thinning, thickening, and swelling in the retina.
Treating Macular Degeneration
As mentioned earlier, there is no cure for macular degeneration. Our ophthalmologist can prescribe supplements to help slow the progression of the disease. We will also suggest that you eat healthily, and quitting smoking if you are a smoker. If you begin losing your vision, our ophthalmologist may recommend low vision aids to help you see better and improve your quality of life.
Ophthalmology Services in Kingston, Jamaica and Linstead, Jamaica
Because macular degeneration can cause permanent vision loss, prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call AB Vision Eyecare Centre at (876) 980-3600.