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If you can imagine trying to see the world through peripheral vision alone, you have some idea of what macular degeneration can eventually do to your eyesight. This eye disease afflicts a particular portion of the retina that processes central vision, making it difficult or impossible to see faces, text or objects directly in front of you. Fortunately, early detection and care from our Westchester eye doctor, Dr. Jenn Tabiza, can help you retain optimal vision by controlling your macular degeneration.
The macular is a collection of light-sensitive cells that sits opposite the pupil at the back of the eye. This part of the retina is responsible for turning your central field of vision into images that can be recognized and interpreted by the brain's vision center. Damage to the macular means damage to this part of your eyesight, from wavy distortions of straight lines to outright blank spots -- and in the case of macular degeneration, the damage is irreversible. To add insult to injury, the damage may begin long before you ever notice any vision symptoms, which is why regular eye exams to detect this eye disease are a must.
Macular degeneration is often referred to as AMD (age-related macular degeneration) because it usually becomes evident after the age of 60. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, ethnic origin, fair complexion, high blood pressure and the use of certain medications. Most sufferers experience the early or "dry" stage of macular degeneration, characterized by the presence of small deposits knwn as drusen. Some advance to the "wet" stage in which abnormal, weak-walled blood vessels proliferate and bleed into the eye.
Westchester Eye Care Center can help you save your eyesight against the ravages of macular degeneration, beginning with regular eye exams that reveal the presence of drusen or other abnormalities. The sooner our Westchester optometrist can detect this eye disease, the earlier the disease's progress can be brought under control. Much of the treatment recommended for dry macular degeneration revolves around making lifestyle changes to lower your risk for further damage. For instance, our eye doctor in Westchester may advise you to stop smoking, alter your diet, control your blood pressure and/or lose weight.
Wet macular degeneration can often respond to medical treatment. Injectable medications can curb the production of the VGEF (vascular endothelial growth factor) proteins that cause abnormal blood vessels to form. A mutritional protocol called AREDS2 may also help keep the condition from advancing. In extreme cases, we may refer you for laser treatment to seal off leaky blood vessels.
If you're concerned about protecting your eyes against macular degeneration in Westchester, Playa Vista or Playa del Rey, we can help. Call us today for an eye evaluation from our Westchester eye doctor!