At the Retina Group of Washington, our Falls Church eye specialist is experienced in treating age-related macular degeneration, a condition that is common but can cause blindness or vision loss if not treated in time.
AMD is a common eye condition that can cause vision loss in people over the age of 50. The macula, a spot near the middle of the retina, is needed for good central vision. AMD can come on slowly and without warning, which is why any changes in vision should be checked by our Falls Church eye specialist. Over time, it can begin to blur the central vision and objects are not as bright as they once were. Loss of central vision can interfere with the ability to see close up and perform everyday activities like driving and reading. Risk factors for AMD include smoking, race and family history. People who have a family history are at a higher risk than those who do not have one, and genetic risk factors are suspected. Environmental factors like smoking and nutrition can also contribute to AMD. Quitting smoking and beginning to exercise regularly can reduce the risk of AMD or slow its progression. Eating a healthy diet can help immensely to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Our Falls Church eye specialist detects AMD using a comprehensive dilated eye exam. It includes a visual acuity test to measure distance vision, a dilated eye exam, a fluorescein angiogram, which is a dye injected into the arm in order for us to take high quality photos of the eye, and an Amsler grid, which can detect changes in central vision. AMD is detected by the presence of drusen, yellow deposits under the retina. Although many people develop them over time, the presence of larger drusen can indicate AMD, as can pigmentary changes. If you happen to need eye surgery in Gaithersburg, we perform in-office treatments like cryotherapy, laser photocoagulation and steroid injections. Also, ask about our Ozurdex implants as well as Avastin and Macugen therapies.