Macular Degeneration

Ypsilanti Vision

Optometrists located in Ypsilanti, MI

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the main causes of vision loss among Americans over 50. This eye disease often develops quite slowly, so early diagnosis is the best way you can slow its progression. At Ypsilanti Vision in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Tiffany Zair-Yalda, OD, and the experienced team of eye care experts offer state-of-the-art testing onsite. After your AMD diagnosis, you can count on the team for monitoring and support. Call the office or use the online appointment tool to book your visit today.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is age-related macular degeneration?

AMD is a widespread eye disease that blurs or even destroys your straight-ahead (central) vision. Most AMD sufferers are 50 or older, and its incidence increases with age. 

AMD occurs when the macula, a portion of the light-sensing retina cells in the back of your eye, starts to wear down. Your macula gives you good central vision, so a damaged macula means you lose a significant amount of fine detail in your straight-ahead vision. 

There are two kinds of AMD: atrophic (or dry) and exudative (or wet). Dry AMD is far more common, and it’s the less damaging form of the disease. Generally, dry AMD moves very slowly. 

Wet AMD occurs when you grow unstable blood vessels beneath the macula. These blood vessels leak to interfere with your central vision. Unlike dry AMD, wet AMD can progress quickly.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

Dry AMD doesn’t usually cause obvious vision issues in the beginning. As it progresses, or if you have wet AMD, you may experience:

  • Increasingly blurry vision
  • Straight lines appear curved or wavy
  • Objects look distorted
  • Colors lose vibrancy
  • Blank or black spot in your central visual field

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment at Ypsilanti Vision right away. If you have regular comprehensive eye exams, your optometrist can recognize the signs of AMD far in advance of obvious symptoms. 

How do you diagnose macular degeneration?

Ypsilanti Vision uses optical coherence tomography (OCT), an advanced retinal photography system that produces 3D images of your entire retina. 

An OCT scan reveals the thickness of each retina layer, which is crucial information for early diagnosis of AMD and other eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy. 

Ypsilanti Vision keeps the OCT images from each eye exam so your eye doctor can evaluate changes and recommend any treatments necessary. 

How do you treat macular degeneration?

Monitoring is important with AMD, so see your eye doctor on the recommended basis. Your Ypsilanti Vision provider can also recommend AMD treatments such as:

Dry AMD

Although dry AMD isn’t reversible, making certain nutrition changes can delay its progression. Your optometrist may recommend certain vitamin supplements and dietary changes. 

Wet AMD

Wet AMD may respond well to intraocular injections with anti-VEGF medications that prevent abnormal blood vessel growth under your retina. Another option may be photodynamic therapy, a laser treatment that stops blood vessel growth and leakage.

With both types of AMD, living the healthiest possible lifestyle is important. 

Ypsilanti Vision is here for AMD testing and diagnosis, so don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or through the online scheduling tool.