Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss among the elderly. Macular degeneration is an eye disease which causes deterioration of central vision that comes with age. The macula is the central part of the retina which is in the back of the eye. If we were to think of the eye as a camera, the retina would be the “film” in the camera. When we focus on an object, the image is captured with the macula. It is responsible for central clear vision. Aging changes in the macula cause a deterioration of function. Some of these changes include the formation of yellow deposits called drusen. As the macula degenerates it can develop atrophy and lead to loss of vision.

There are two forms of macular degeneration. The dry form of macular degeneration is the more mild form. Visual loss from dry macular degeneration can range from minimal to severe. Usually dry macular degeneration will progress slowly over years. Wet macular degeneration is the more severe and advanced form. Wet macular degeneration can cause a sudden loss of central vision. It is called wet macular degeneration because fluid leaks from abnormal blood vessel growth and causes visual loss.

Palm Desert CA Macular Degeneration Palm Springs CA | Desert Eye & Laser

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Risk factors for macular degeneration include:

  • Age over 60
  • Family history
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Caucasian race
  • Female gender
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

Healthy lifestyle choices will help protect eye health include:

  • Discontinuation of smoking
  • Using antioxidant vitamins
  • Healthy diet and exercise
  • Eating green leafy vegetables, fruits, and fish
  • Wearing sunglasses and hats to protect from sun exposure
  • Controlling blood pressure

Wet macular degeneration can be treated with intraocular injection of anti-VEGF drugs such as Avastin and Lucentis as well as with laser treatments.

Patients may develop early macular degeneration without exhibiting any symptoms. Sometimes patients may notice distorted or wavy vision. Patients with dry macular degeneration may progress to the more severe wet form. Having regular dilated eye examinations can help preserve vision and lead to appropriate treatments.

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36921 Cook Street, Suite 103 Palm Desert, CA 92211

Freeway Close. Just off the I-10 at Cook Street
Southwest Corner of Cook & Gerald Ford

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