There are numerous eye diseases that affect central vision but age-related macular degeneration is the most common of these disorders. Macular degeneration occurs in two forms, wet and dry, and mainly affects people over 60. “Wet” macular degeneration is not as common but more vigorous in its development, prompting loss of central vision. “Dry” macular degeneration is more common and a much slower progression before causing vision loss. Our local Sunrise eye doctor, Dr. Ralph Bourjolly, will give you a comprehensive exam to not only detect the disease but determine if you are at risk of developing it.
Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow underneath the retina and begin to leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid lift the macula from its normal place, at the back of the eye, interfering with the proper function of the retina, causing the central vision to blur. Under these conditions, loss of vision loss may be quick and severe. With dry macular degeneration light-sensitive cells in the macula break down slowly. Often occurring in one eye initially, central vision diminishes with less of the macula functioning. Much more common than wet, the cause of dry macular degeneration is unknown. Our local Sunrise eye doctor at 2020 Vision Place will explain how dry macular degeneration can advance and cause vision loss without turning into wet macular degeneration but dry macular degeneration may rapidly turn into the wet form by the growth of new blood vessels.
Our local Sunrise eye doctor can assure you that both forms of macular degeneration don’t cause any pain and the most common early symptom is blurred vision. This blurred vision can affect your quality of life, making reading, driving, and recognizing faces difficult. Other symptoms may include reduced night vision as well as a decrease in the intensity of colors and overall vision becoming much hazier. All of these symptoms can also be present with the wet form of macular degeneration but the most common symptom in wet macular degeneration is straight lines appearing wavy or crooked.
Once Dr. Bourjolly has diagnosed which form of macular degeneration is present, treatment options will be discussed. Wet macular degeneration can be treated with laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and injections into the eye. Unfortunately, these treatments are not a permanent cure and the disease and loss of vision may continue to grow despite treatment. There is currently no treatment available to reverse dry macular degeneration but on a more positive note, dry macular degeneration usually develops at a much slower pace and the majority of our patients with this condition are able to live relatively normal, productive lives.