Macular degeneration is one of the top causes of vision loss in adults aged 50 and older. A comprehensive eye exam can identify the signs of macular degeneration before you begin to develop symptoms, then Dr. Stephen Chase at Family Vision Care Center can recommend supplements to delay or slow its progression. If you’re haven’t had a recent eye exam, call the office in Torrance, California, or book an appointment online.
Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), occurs in an area of your retina called the macula. The macula contains millions of light-sensing cells that are responsible for your central vision. Macular degeneration develops as these cells deteriorate, increasing your risk of vision loss and blindness.
Your risk of developing macular degeneration may be higher if you smoke, you’re overweight, or you’re over 50 years old. It also may be higher if you have any of the following:
There are two forms of this eye disease, dry and wet:
Dry AMD occurs in 80% of patients with macular degeneration, making it the most common form. It develops due to age-related changes and drusen development, leading to deterioration of light-sensitive cells. Drusen are clumps of lipids that interfere with the macula’s ability to receive nutrients.
When you develop wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels begin to appear behind your retina. These fragile vessels leak blood and fluids, causing swelling and damaging cells in the macula. Wet AMD can cause a detached retina.
Most patients don’t experience symptoms while macular degeneration is still in the early stages. As it worsens, you may have:
No treatments are currently available for dry AMD. Taking supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper may delay or prevent progression of the disease.
It’s important to consult Dr. Chase about which supplements to use to be sure you get the optimal dose of each nutrient.
If macular degeneration progresses to the wet stage, you can’t prevent some vision loss. Several treatments help stop the development of abnormal blood vessels, such as photodynamic therapy, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medications, and laser surgery.
With routine eye exams, you can catch macular degeneration at an early stage and begin taking supplements to slow its progression. To schedule an exam, call Family Vision Care Center or book an appointment online.