Macular Degeneration – An Introduction

 

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Bond Eye Associates
Image: bondeye.com

Over the course of his career, ophthalmologist Dr. Roger T. Adler has developed and refined his expertise as a retinal specialist. As part of Bond Eye Associates, Dr. Roger Adler routinely treats cases of macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration stands out as the most common cause of vision loss in the United States today. More prevalent than glaucoma and cataracts combined, the condition occurs when the central area of the retina deteriorates.

Located in the rear of the eye, the retina is responsible for translating visual information into neurological signals. The term macula refers to the retina’s central area, and thus processes all functions of central vision, including those that allow a person to see detail and recognize colors.
When central vision breaks down, the patient may experience blurriness or distortion in the center of the visual field while peripheral vision remains clear.

Most patients experience what is known as dry or atrophic macular degeneration. Usually a result of aging, it most often develops when the macular tissues thin and deposits of protein form underneath the retina. Patients with this condition typically notice gradual vision loss.

The vision loss of dry macular degeneration is typically less severe than that involved in the wet, or exudative, form. This affects approximately 10 percent of patients with macular degeneration and results from the growth of abnormal blood vessels below the retina. These abnormally formed vessels can then leak and cause a rapid decline in central vision.

Experts urge patients who experience blurriness or distortion in the central vision realm to consult with an ophthalmologist. In some cases, a schedule of vitamins can help to mitigate the condition’s effects.

Eye Illnesses – Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Bond Eye Associates pic

Bond Eye Associates
Image: bondeye.com

A skilled eye surgeon, Dr. Roger T. Adler treats patients with macular degeneration and other eye diseases at Bond Eye Associates in Central Illinois. Before establishing himself, Dr. Roger T. Adler completed his retina surgery fellowship in Atlanta, Georgia.

When physicians diagnose patents with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it means that the macula, a part of the retina, has begun to degrade. The macula is composed of light-sensitive cells that help the brain interpret fine detail. These cells are far more sensitive than other retinal cells. When the macula breaks down, people with AMD experience the gradual loss of their central vision.

As people get older, their risk for AMD goes up. Scientists have yet to find the precise cause of the disease, though there does appear to be a genetic component in some cases. People can help reduce their risk of AMD through lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking. Those who smoke tend to develop AMD earlier and have worse symptoms.

Other lifestyle changes that can lower AMD risk include pursuing a healthier diet rich in vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help strengthen the macula.

Bond Eye Associates is your path to clearer vision.

For more information about Bond Eye Associates please visit our website at http://www.bondeye.com or call 309.692.2020. Bond Eye Associates is a medical group practice that brings full-service eye care to Central Illinois. Eye care services are provided by three physicians, four optometrists and a staff of more than 40. Bond Eye Associates has offices located in Pekin, Peoria and Canton.

Q&A on Age-Related Macular Degeneration

What is age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in adults aged 50 and older. It is characterized by a destruction of the macula, which is part of the retina at the back of the eye. Macular degeneration can take two forms. Dry macular degeneration is the most common type and progresses gradually. Wet macular degeneration accounts for only 10 percent of macular degeneration cases and comes on more suddenly as a result of fluid leaks in the eye.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

Symptoms may only appear in the later stages of the condition, especially with dry macular generation. These symptoms can include a distortion of straight lines, blurriness in the center of vision, and changes in color perception.

How is macular degeneration treated?

When diagnosed early, the progression of wet macular degeneration can be delayed with injections or laser treatments. There is no known cure for dry macular degeneration, but making certain lifestyle changes has been shown to slow the condition’s progression. Patients are advised to eat lots of leafy greens, reduce saturated fats in the diet, and maintain a healthy weight.