Age-related macular degeneration is a condition in which the macula, the small part in the middle of your retina, deteriorates. It is the result of the aging process itself, rather than external factors, and while not everyone gets it, everyone after the age of 40 may develop it. For this reason, we at The Retina Group of Washington strongly urge you to get a yearly screening once you turn 40. And if you are diagnosed with it, you should depend on our Falls Church macular specialist for the expert treatment and management of the disease.
First, the bad news. There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The good news is that it will not cause complete blindness. Instead, it erodes your vision in the center of your visual field, eventuality leaving you with only vision on the sides. In addition to age, there are risk factors that can make it more likely you will get AMD. Heredity is one, which there is nothing you can do about, of course. Others like smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension can be affected for the better. It is true that women develop AMD more than men do, and for reasons that are not quite clear. Also, lighter skin and eyes tend to be associated with greater propensity for AMD. In addition to annual testing, be sure to see our Falls Church macular specialist right away if you notice any of the following indications: distorted vision with blind spots within the middle of your visual field, and straight lines appearing wavy. State-of-the-art testing includes finding any evidence of drusen, a yellow deposit that may appear in your macula.
Although there is no cure for AMD, our Falls Church macular specialist can help you to retain maximum vision and make the most of it for the long term with various methods. Please call our office and let us schedule an appointment for you to come in.