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According to polls, Americans are more afraid of losing their eyesight than they are of losing any other of their five senses. If you are concerned about preserving your vision, the fact that many irreversible eye diseases can do permanent harm before you're even aware of them is certainly cause for concern. Macular degeneration is one one of these lurking predators, an age-related disorder that can ruin your central field of vision. The good news is that regular eye exams and early diagnosis can permit sight-preserving treatment to begin -- and here at Broadway Vision Center at 170th, our optometrist in New York can provide that treatment.
Macular degeneration typically starts to become evident in individuals in their mid-50s or older; smoking, racial makeup, obesity, UV exposure and family history are also contributing factors. It is named after the slow destruction of an area of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for conveying central visual data to the optic nerve, so continuing damage to this component eventually causes waviness, blurriness, and finally blank spots in the center of your visual field. Sufferers may lose the ability to discern individual faces, read, watch TV or perform most tasks requiring central vision.
Macular degeneration occurs in two distinct forms. The early-stage or "dry" version causes slow, progressive damage to the macular cells that absorb light, although you may not notice differences in your vision at first. In the advanced or "wet" form of macular degeneration, extra blood vessels form inside the eye; these weak-walled vessels tend to leak blood, accelerating the vision loss. Obviously, the sooner you get this condition diagnosed, the sooner our optometrist in New York can start administering treatment to slow or arrest the progress of the disease to preserve optimal vision. This is why regular comprehensive eye exams are a must!
If our optometrist in New York discovers the telltale signs of macular degeneration, the treatment you receive will depend on the stage and type of disorder you have. Early-stage dry macular degeneration isn't directly treatable by current medical science, but it may be managed through dietary and lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, dietary changes, weight loss and UV-blocking sunglasses. A dietary supplementation plan called AREDS2 can also slow the disease's progress to the advanced wet form.
Wet macular degeneration may require medical intervention to control the proliferation and leakage of blood vessels in the eye. Injectable medications can inhibit new blood vessel growth. A drug called Viusdyne may be used in conjunction with laser light to destroy newly-formed blood vessels. In some cases, we may refer you for laser treatments that cauterize blood vessels to prevent them from leaking (a process called laser photocoagulation).
Between comprehensive eye exams and skilled treatment from our optometrist in New York, you can arm yourself against macular degeneration. Call 212-927-2020 for an appointment!