Age related macular degeneration – A leading cause of blindness

86544832One of the leading causes of blindness in North America is Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). Age related macular degeneration causes damage to the macula, the small spot in the center of the retina which lets us see objects that are straight ahead. In some people age related macular degeneration advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, this condition progresses much faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. As age related macular degeneration progresses, a small blurred area near the center of your vision is a common symptom. Over time this blurred area may grow larger or you may develop blank spots in your central vision. The early and intermediate stages of age related macular degeneration usually start without obvious symptoms.

Age Related Macular Degeneration can only be diagnosed through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Our optometrists at 360 Eyecare – Metro are experienced in detecting early signs of macular degeneration. While there is no cure for ARMD, treatment can slow the progression of the disease. This is why it is so important to have an annual eye exam.

Treatment options for Age Related Macular Degeneration may include:

Anti-angiogenic drugs:

These drugs affect the development and maintenance of irregular blood vessels in the eye

Laser Therapy:

This approach may be used to destroy abnormal blood vessels growing in the eye

Vitamins:

In some individuals vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper have been show to decrease the risk of vision loss*

Sub-macular Surgery or Retinal Translocation:

These are new surgical treatment options that are used to remove abnormal blood vessels where lasers cannot be used safely. These treatment options are still considered experimental.

If you are concerned about Age Related Macular Degeneration or any other eye conditions contact our knowledgeable optometrists at 360 Eyecare – Metro to book your comprehensive eye exam.

*National Eye Institute – National Institutes of Health