Dr. Joseph Raffa and Dr. Reggie Ragsdale, the eye health specialists at Founders Eyecare in Castle Rock, Colorado, have the medical training and experience to recognize and treat conditions that can lead to blindness. Among those conditions is age-related macular degeneration. The key to managing this disease is early detection.
As humans age, the part of the eye that sees fine detail, the macula, can deteriorate. That’s why dry AMD tends to affect mostly older patients. It’s a progressive condition that causes blurred or impaired central vision as the cells within the macula break down. It can develop in one or both eyes and makes up approximately 85-90% of AMD cases. Fortunately, early detection can potentially slow the disease down.
Wet AMD occurs when fluid leaks into the macula, hence the name, and tends to be chronic. This wet area causes blind spots where the fluid sits. Wet AMD is the more serious of the two types because it advances very quickly. Although, with early detection, vision is recoverable in some cases.
Common symptoms of AMD include, but aren’t limited to:
Both conditions have similar symptoms, although with the wet version there’s often a well-defined blind spot in your field of vision. Dry AMD is characterized by sensitivity to low light and slowly diminishing vision, as opposed to marked blind spots.
As the name suggests, the largest risk factor for AMD is age. As your body grows older, its cells begin to break down and your risk of disease increases.
Some other risk factors include genetics, race, and overall health. People with a family history of AMD are more at risk for develop the disease, and smoking will double a person's chance of AMD. It’s also closely related to cardiovascular disease.
There’s no treatment to stop the progression of dry AMD. If detected early, however, you can slow down the disease. Taking vitamins, eating healthy, maintaining a proper weight, and not smoking are effective ways to slow AMD down. Medication may also stop the development of the leaky blood vessels that lead to wet macular degeneration.
Other treatments Dr. Raffa and Dr. Ragsdale may recommend include:
Founders Eyecare accepts the following insurances, among others. Please call our office to confirm that we accept your insurance plan.
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