North Texas Center for Sight
Comprehensive Ophthalmology located in Denton, TX
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 65. Nicki Sayani, MD, and the team at the North Texas Center for Sight in Denton, Texas, offer medical management for age-related macular degeneration, an essential part of preventing irreversible blindness. For prevention and comprehensive, holistic treatment of your AMD, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Medical Management of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
What is macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that causes damage or breakdown of the macula, the small part of the eye’s retina that is responsible for our central vision. The macula provides visual acuity, sharp enough vision to see colors, faces, and objects in detail.
AMD is a progressive condition that affects both distance and up-close vision. You may not notice any changes to your vision until you have difficulty with activities like threading a needle or reading. By this point, irreversible damage has already occurred.
Without treatment, AMD may progress to partial or total vision loss. Expert medical management of AMD helps to slow progression and prevent more significant changes to your sight.
What causes AMD symptoms?
There are two main types of macular degeneration, each with slightly different underlying causes. Your risk for both types increases significantly with age, especially over age 50.
Dry macular degeneration (MD)
Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of AMD. Broken down macular tissues cause yellow-colored deposits to collect on your macula, leading to the thinning and drying out of the tissues. Dry MD may progress to wet MD.
Wet MD is less common and is often more severe. Wet macular degeneration occurs when blood vessels in your eye leak and bulge into the macula. Wet MD affects the cells of the retina, creating blind spots in your vision.
While aging is the most significant risk factor for AMD, other risk factors include family history, Caucasian race, smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of AMD?
AMD doesn’t cause pain and could go undetected until you start to lose vision. The team at the North Texas Center for Sight looks for early signs of AMD during your regular eye exams, including:
- A decrease in visual acuity
- Deposits on your macula
- Leaking or bulging of blood vessels
- Progressive changes to your macula
- Blood vessel growth in your macula
- Damage and scarring of your retina
If you have signs of AMD, the team may recommend further testing to confirm a diagnosis and evaluate the degree of damage done to your eye.
What are the treatments for AMD?
AMD is a chronic, progressive disease. While there is no cure for AMD and vision loss isn’t reversible, recent studies show that antioxidant vitamins and zinc may help slow the impact of AMD for those with late-stage or advanced AMD. Studies suggest supplements may not be of significant benefit for those with minimal or symptom-free AMD.
Other possible treatments may include laser surgery, medications, and ongoing monitoring of disease progression. The team at North Texas Center for Sight works with you to develop a customized plan of care that helps reduce your risks and protect your vision as much as possible.
For a consultation regarding your risks for AMD, call or schedule an appointment online with the North Texas Center for Sight today.