LASER VISION CORRECTION | OPTICAL DEPARTMENT ....... Charlotte (704) 364-7400 ........Huntersville (704) 895-8200

MACULAR DEGENERATION

Macular degeneration (Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD) is a serious degenerative problem of the portion of the retina responsible for central vision. It can affect your vision at any age but it is primarily age-related, reducing vision permanently in patients age 50 and older. It is the most common cause of irreversible and untreatable blindness in Caucasians over the age of 55.

Risk Factors

It is more likely to affect you if you have a family history of the condition as well as if you are older, smoke, have high blood pressure, or have exposure to lots of ultraviolet light and sunlight. Poor nutrition plays a significant role as well.

Prevention

Increased intake of antioxidants, which are found in fruits and vegetables or special extracts like Juice Plus, have been shown to reduce the risk of AMD. Increasing omega-three fatty acids (fish, nuts) in your diet, taking fish oil capsules, avoiding smoking, controlling your blood pressure, wearing sunglasses and frequent, regular eye exams will also reduce your risk and help you maintain good vision throughout your life.

Treatment

The doctors at Charlotte Ophthalmology Clinic are trained to detect AMD at its earliest stages. We recommend you receive an annual eye exam to allow us to examine your macula. If signs of AMD are discovered, treatment recommendations might include increased nutrition from whole food sources like fruits and green leafy vegetables, special testing and monitoring the macula for evidence of fluid accumulation (called wet AMD), and high dose vitamin supplements. Our Optical Department can help as well. Special sunglasses, magnifiers and low vision aids can be fitted by our Opticians to help improve your eyesight for daily activities.

Wet AMD

Sudden and persistent distortion of your vision can be a warning sign of wet AMD, which occurs when fluid from a leaky blood vessel accumulates in the macula. Newspaper print may seem wrinkled or distorted or your vision may become suddenly cloudy in one eye. We provide our patients with an early detection self-test for this, called an Amsler Grid. With daily use, it can help you detect this at an early stage. If wet AMD is discovered, you will be referred to a Retina Specialist who will use special testing to see if you are a candidate for treatment with laser or intraocular injection of medications to seal the leak.

•Click Here for the Amsler Grid

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