Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye disease that blurs the central vision, making it difficult to drive and read. As it progresses, it can blur the vision to point that it’s hard to see faces and complete daily tasks that require you to see up close. Your optometrist will check for AMD during a comprehensive eye exam. If you’re diagnosed with AMD, you will begin treatment.
Your optometrist will dilate your pupils and examine the back of your eye. If you have AMD, your optometrist will likely find yellow deposits called drusen under your retina. Next, your doctor might use an Amsler grid to see if you have any defects in your center of vision. The grid’s lines might look broken, distorted, or faded if you have AMD.
A fluorescein angiography test also might be necessary. Your optometrist will inject a dye into your arm, and it will travel through your blood vessels to your eye. Then, your optimist will use a camera to photograph the dye as it travels to look for abnormal blood vessels that indicate AMD.
Finally, you might undergo an optical coherence tomography test. The imaging test allows your optimist to look at images of the retina. Viewing the imagines allows your optimist to check for changes to the retina that are common in AMD.
Your treatment will depend on the type of AMD you have. If you have dry age-related macular degeneration, your optometrist will use nutrition and weight control to slow the progression. Antioxidant-rich foods and fatty fish promote eye health and can slow the progression of dry AMD. Your optometrist might recommend supplements, as well.
You’ll also be instructed to avoid processed foods and artificial fats. These foods aren’t just bad for your overall health. they impact your eye health, as well.
Your optimist will also talk to you about diet and exercise. Controlling your weight can reduce the risk of the disease progressing.
If you have wet AMD, your optimist might start you on anti-VEGF medications. These drugs block the vascular endothelial growth factor to slow down or prevent additional blood vessels from forming in the eye. The medication can also slow down leaks in the blood vessels that have already formed.
Your optometrist also might recommend laser surgery. Just like anti-VEGF medications, laser surgery can slow down leaks and prevent new blood vessels from forming.
If you have advanced wet AMD, you might require atelescopic lens implant. The lens can improve your vision, but due to the narrow field of vision it provides, you will still have some symptoms. If your AMD is caught early, it’s unlikely you’ll require a surgical lens implant.
Like other progressive diseases, early diagnosis is critical for age-related macular degeneration. Call Smoot Eye Care, LLC in Bedford, IN at (812) 675-4199 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. If Dr. Smoot discovers AMD, she will begin treatment to slow or prevent the progression of this disease.