Our Wood-Ridge and Hasbrouck Heights optometrist at Heights Eye Center diagnoses and monitors macular degeneration, which is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is a condition that causes the slow deterioration of the macula.
Types of AMD Diagnosed by our Optometrist in Hasbrouck Heights and Wood-Bridge
Our Optometrist in Hasbrouck Heights and Wood-Bridge diagnoses wet and dry AMD via comprehensive eye examinations and dilated eye exams.
Dry AMD is the earliest stage of the disease and the most common form. It is believed to occur when the tissue of the macula starts to thin. This form of the eye condition is characterized by the development of yellow spots, called drusen, on the macula.
Wet AMD is the advanced form of the eye disease. At this stage, the macula has significantly deteriorated to the point where it is affecting the blood vessels that supply nutrients to the macula. The old blood vessels start to break-down and leak. The body, in turn, tries to compensate by creating more blood vessels, but the new vessels are weaker, which causes additional leaking. If the leaking blood vessels are not corrected, vision loss can occur rapidly.
Symptoms of AMD
AMD often does not have any symptoms other than vision loss, which is why it is important to schedule regular comprehensive eye exams. As the macula deteriorates, central vision is slowly lost. Most people notice blurry central vision or distorted vision. A good test to determine if you may have AMD is to look at straight grid lines. If they appear wavy, you may have AMD.
Risk Factors for AMD
AMD most commonly occurs in older individuals, particularly Caucasian women. It also tends to run in families. If you are overweight, lead a sedentary life, smoke or have high blood pressure, you may be at an increased risk of developing the disease.
Diagnosing and Treating AMD with our Wood-Bridge and Hasbrouck Heights Eye Doctor
Our Wood-Bridge and Hasbrouck Heights Eye Doctor can diagnose AMD with a visual acuity test and a dilated eye exam. If you have AMD, you will need more frequent eye exams by our optometrist in order to closely monitor the disease progression.
While AMD does not have a cure, some studies have shown that certain nutritional supplements, like those with Omega-3 fatty acids, may slow the progression. If you have vision loss associated with AMD, our eye doctor will provide you with a prescription for corrective lenses and/or low vision aides.
If your AMD progresses to the wet form, additional treatments may be needed. Common treatments for advanced AMD include medications for stopping the growth of new blood vessels, intraocular injections and laser therapy, which can remove new blood vessels. If you need advanced treatments, our Wood-Ridge optometrist can provide a referral.