Our Houston Ophthalmologist Team Is Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions about Macular Degeneration
Houston ophthalmologist Dr. Charles Garcia and the rest of our eye care team in Houston, TX, meet hundreds of people every year living with vision-related problems caused by macular degeneration. This health condition is a leading cause of vision loss, especially among older adults. Early diagnosis can improve outcomes, so getting routine eye exams is essential.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
The macula is the very center of a person's retina, the light-sensitive tissue on the inside of the eye. Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a condition that causes a person's macula to thin, break down, and degrade. Two main types of AMD exist, wet and dry:
- Wet AMD accounts for about 10% of all cases, and is characterized by an overgrowth of small abnormal blood vessels behind the macula. These blood vessels leak interstitial fluids and cause scarring and damage to the macula.
- Dry AMD accounts for about 90% of all cases. This type is associated with the growth of drusen, yellow pigment deposits, which can also scar the macula.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
This condition causes gradual vision changes, including:
- Distorted vision (straight lines look wavy, such as seek on an Amsler chart test)
- Blurry vision
- Problem with seeing at night
- Shadow areas in your vision fuzzy vision
Macular degeneration can be diagnosed before it reaches a symptomatic stage, which means you and your eye doctor can implement early strategies to slow its progression and maximize your eyesight. This is why regular screening and routine eye exams are essential to your long term ocular health.
Who Gets Macular Degeneration?
AMD is most common in people over 65 years old. However, macular degeneration can also affect younger adults and children when it's caused by certain inherited genetic disorders, like Stargardt's disease.
What Are the Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?
Excessive ultraviolet light, smoking, family history, those over 65, long-term use of certain prescription medications, and poor diet are a few of the main risk factors for macular degeneration.
How Can an Ophthalmologist in Houston Treat Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration isn't curable, but it can be managed and controlled. Our ophthalmologist in Houston employs AMD treatments including:
- Nutritional and antioxidant supplementations for dry AMD
- Laser surgery including photocoagulation for wet AMD
- Prescription eyewear and low vision strategies
Have You Been Screened for Macular Degeneration?
Call the Museum District Eye Center in Houston, TX, at 713-333-0151 to schedule an appointment with ophthalmologist Dr. Garcia today. We screen for macular degeneration, glaucoma, and a range of other health conditions.