Macular degeneration is a deterioration of the small area of your retina, called the macula, that is responsible for your central vision. The macula is also in charge of detail vision for fine detail work like threading a needle or reading small print or street signs. Dr. Ross Cusic of Optical Images in Kirkland, Washington speaks to many Seattle residents about their eye care needs. He explains, “Macular degeneration is usually an ailment that affects older people, but anyone can develop it at any age. Since macular degeneration steals your vision both slowly and painlessly, it is easy for it to go unnoticed until significant sight has been lost. Being informed about macular degeneration is essential for detecting this dangerous condition before it does significant damage to your sight.”
There are two different types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is the more common form of this condition. Symptoms include blurry distance and/or reading vision, less vivid color vision, difficulty seeing in dim light, trouble recognizing the faces of loved ones and a blank or blurry spot in your central vision. It is possible for the dry form of macular degeneration to affect either one or both eyes. If it only affects one eye, you may not notice it because the other eye will compensate for it. The wet form of macular degeneration is more rare and generally understood to be more dangerous due to it's tendency to deteriorate very quickly. Some symptoms of wet macular degeneration are similar to those of the dry form, such as seeing less vivid colors and loss of central vision in general. You may also see straight lines as though they are bent, crooked or irregular.
Dr. Cusic comments, “There are many things to watch out for that can put you at risk for macular degeneration. If there are people in your family that already have macular degeneration, you are at higher risk than those without a family history of the condition. You may also develop macular degeneration from high blood pressure linked to smoking or obesity. These are especially linked to early or intermediate-stage cases of dry macular degeneration developing into the more dangerous wet form.”
It is very important to have regular eye exams so that your optometrist can monitor any changes in your eyes that may signal macular degeneration. During your exam, our macular degeneration expert in Seattle area, Dr. Cusic will examine your retina and other parts of the back of your eye to see if there is anything unusual. If he detects macular degeneration, Dr. Cusic may use a device called an Amsler Grid to check your symptoms.
Although there are no federally approved techniques to treat macular degeneration, many expert studies show a link between taking certain health supplements and reduced risk of macular degeneration. Many Seattle and Kirkland residents come to our optometrist, Dr. Cusic, and he speaks with them about the uses of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other healthy supplements in helping reduce their risk of developing macular degeneration or of their dry macular degeneration getting worse or developing into the wet form.
For more information about macular degeneration treatments and glasses in Seattle area, make your appointment with Dr. Cusic today.