What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a deterioration or breakdown of the macula. The macula is a small area in the retina at the back of the eye that allows you to see fine details clearly and perform activities such as reading and driving.
When the macula does not function correctly, your central vision can be affected by blurriness or distortion. Macular degeneration affects your ability to see near and far and can make some activities -- like threading a needle or reading -- very difficult.
What causes macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is part of the body's natural aging process. Risk factors such as family history or smoking increase your risk, but it is also just part of the normal aging process of the eye.
The most common is dry macular degeneration. A second type of macular degeneration is the wet form. Only your ophthalmologist or optometrist can tell the difference by looking at your eye and running various tests.
Is there treatment?
- Frequent examinations and monitoring
- Specific vitamin supplements (AREDS-2 formula)
- Laser treatment and injections of medicine inside the eye
At Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we offer comprehensive monitoring and treatment of macular degeneration, including lasers and injections inside the eye.
If you have this condition, or have concerns, schedule an appointment for a personalized evaluation.
Testing your vision with the Amsler grid
You can check your vision daily by using an Amsler grid like the one pictured here. You may find changes in your vision that you wouldn't notice otherwise. Putting the grid on the front of your refrigerator is a good way to remember to look at it each day.
If you would like to have an Amsler grid you can just print out this page. Otherwise, we would be happy to give you one. Just call or stop by one of our offices.
To Use the Grid:
- Wear your reading glasses and hold this grid 12-15 inches away from your face in good light.
- Cover one eye.
- Look directly at the center dot with the uncovered eye.
- While looking directly at the center dot, note whether all lines of the grid are straight or if any areas are distorted, blurred or dark.
- Repeat this procedure with the other eye.
- If any area of the grid looks wavy, blurred or dark, call Eye Physicians and Surgeons or another ophthalmologist right away.