Macular Degeneration Specialist

Antelope Valley Optometric Center

Optometrists located in Lancaster, CA

Over 10 million people in the United States suffer from macular degeneration, more than glaucoma and cataracts put together. At Antelope Valley Optometric Center in Lancaster, California, the skilled optometrists have protected the vision of men, women, and children in their community against macular degeneration for over 30 years. Don’t wait for the symptoms of macular degeneration to develop; call Antelope Valley Optometric Center or schedule an appointment online today.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

Antelope Valley Optometric Center

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a retinal disease that occurs when the central portion of the retina deteriorates.

The retina is the back layer of the eye that captures images and transmits them to the brain through the optic nerve. The central area of the retina is the macula, and this is what focuses a person's central vision. When this portion of the retina deteriorates, it impacts the ability to see objects and fine detail, recognize colors and faces, read, and drive a car, but peripheral vision remains.

Macular degeneration is the most prevalent cause of vision loss.

What causes macular degeneration?

The exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown, but risk factors include aging, overall health, heredity, and the environment.

The chances of developing macular degeneration increase after age 55 and are higher in Caucasians than African-American or Hispanic populations. Smoking also doubles the risk of having macular degeneration.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

In the earliest stages of macular degeneration, there generally are no symptoms, so it’s essential to have regular eye exams to diagnose the condition early on.

As the condition progresses, symptoms may include:

  • Vision distortions
  • Reduced central vision
  • Challenges seeing in low light
  • A blurry or blind spot in your central vision
  • Less brightness or intensity in colors
  • Difficulty recognizing familiar faces

Macular degeneration can occur in one or both eyes.

How is macular degeneration diagnosed and treated?

The optometrists at Antelope Valley Optometric Center diagnose macular degeneration during a comprehensive eye exam that includes a review of the patient’s personal and family medical histories. During this exam, the optometrist examines the back of the eye and tests the patient’s center vision. They might also recommend additional tests using injectable dyes to help locate abnormal blood vessels or retinal changes.

There is no cure for macular degeneration, so the best course of treatment is early detection to slow its progression. To manage the condition, the optometrists at Antelope Valley Optometric Center might recommend:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Protecting eyes from ultraviolet light
  • Consuming a healthy diet
  • Taking vitamin supplements or prescription medications

For advanced macular degeneration in both eyes, they might also suggest low vision rehabilitation to help adapt to your vision changes, laser or photodynamic therapy, or surgery to implant special lenses in the eyes to magnify the field of vision.

To protect against vision loss from macular degeneration, call Antelope Valley Optometric Center or schedule an appointment online today.