Around 196 million people have macular degeneration worldwide, and it’s one of the most common causes of central vision loss in America today. Because age is the top risk factor for macular degeneration, having an experienced ophthalmology team behind you is particularly important as you grow older. Clewner & Kelly Eye Center has a 35-year history of treating macular degeneration while supporting all the vision and eye health needs of patients in Boca Raton, Florida. Compassionate and supportive ophthalmologists Lawrence Clewner, MD, and William Kelly, MD, are here for you, so book your appointment online or by phone now.
Macular degeneration is an age-related condition in which a small-but-essential part of your retina, the macula, deteriorates. This causes central vision loss.
There are rarely obvious signs of macular degeneration until it’s advanced enough to cause vision blurring. Regular comprehensive eye exams are particularly essential as you age, as your ophthalmologist can diagnose macular degeneration in the early stages before you notice any vision loss.
The two main forms of the disease are:
Dry macular degeneration accounts for around 90% of all cases. It happens as two of the macula layers, the photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium, atrophy with age. Small deposits called drusen, which are waste byproducts, accumulate on the retina and contribute to the atrophy.
Almost everyone over the age of 50 has one or more drusen deposits on their retinas. But, the condition may not progress beyond this point so you may retain your central vision for a long time. Change is generally very gradual with dry macular degeneration.
In around 10% of cases, dry macular degeneration progresses and becomes wet macular degeneration. This condition occurs when you grow abnormal new blood vessels in the choroid layer of your eye.
The new blood vessels leak blood, lipids, and other fluids, which penetrate your retina and potentially cause scarring. Vision loss can be quite rapid with wet macular degeneration.
It’s important to be aware of your risk factors for macular degeneration so you can make any necessary changes to preserve your eyesight now.
The key risk factors for macular degeneration include:
A family history of macular degeneration can put you at risk for the disease, as well.
There’s no treatment for dry macular degeneration, but a specific blend of nutritional supplements may slow its progression. Dietary changes like eating eye-healthy foods including fish and leafy green veggies may also help. Your ophthalmologist can tell you if this approach is right for you.
Wet macular degeneration treatment can include injections with anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (anti-VEGF) to stabilize or even improve vision. Other options can include laser therapy, light-activated drugs, or a combination of the two (photodynamic therapy).
The caring team at Clewner & Kelly Eye Center is ready to help with macular degeneration, so don’t wait: reach out by phone or with the online scheduler now.