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Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment

Macular degeneration is an eye condition that can occur and worsen with age. The two types of macular degeneration are wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Both types can cause vision loss. While there are treatments for macular degeneration, there is no cure. At Pocono Eye Associates, our team of skilled ophthalmologists and optometrists have decades of experience. We take a patient-first approach towards treatment and offer highly individualized eye services. Call us today to schedule a consultation for macular degeneration treatment in East Stroudsburg, PA.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment in East Stroudsburg, PA

What Is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a degenerative retinal disease that occurs with age and affects your central vision. If you have the disease, you may not be able to see things right in front of you, but your peripheral vision may be fine. The disease primarily affects people over 50 and doesn’t cause total blindness but affects the central part of the retina in the back of the eye, which controls central vision.

What Causes Macular Degeneration?

You are more likely to get macular degeneration if you are 50 or older. The disease is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. The biggest risk factors for the disease are:

  • A family history of the disease
  • Obesity
  • A history of smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • A diet high in saturated fat

While the disease can be inherited and can be age-related, you can also develop it due to:

  • Diabetes
  • Head injury
  • Infection
  • Nutrient deficiency

Recognizing Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

Recognizing symptoms of macular degeneration can help you get treatment before the disease progresses further. The three stages of the disease are early, intermediate, and late. The symptoms you experience may differ in each stage, and vision loss typically doesn’t occur until the late stage. Our ophthalmologists can see symptoms of earlier stages of macular degeneration during an eye exam. The primary symptoms of macular degeneration are:

  • Vision loss or difficulties in low light
  • Blurry vision
  • Low vision
  • Difficulty seeing colors
  • Seeing straight lines appear as curved or wavy
  • Dark or blank spots in your central field of vision

Types of Macular Degeneration

There are only two types of macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration, or atrophic macular degeneration, is the most common type. Wet macular degeneration, or exudative macular degeneration, is much less common. The characteristics of each type are:

  • Dry Macular Degeneration – This type of macular degeneration occurs when protein deposits called drusen form underneath the macula. These deposits are small and yellow and can cause your macula to become dry and thin. Your vision loss may occur very gradually, and you likely won’t lose central vision completely. In rare cases, the dry form can turn into the wet form over time.
  • Wet Macular Degeneration – This type of macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath your retina and macula. As these blood vessels ooze blood and fluid, they build up, forming a bulge underneath your macula. This causes dark spots in your central vision. This type of macular degeneration is more severe and can cause total loss of central vision.

Our Macular Degeneration Treatment Options

While there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are treatment options that can reduce the severity of symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Early intervention can offer the best chance of success with treatment. The treatment we recommend may depend on the type of macular degeneration you have:

  • Treatment for Dry Macular Degeneration – We may recommend using nutritional supplements to treat dry age-related macular degeneration. The right combination of vitamins and minerals can lessen symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. We may suggest a cocktail of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Lutein, Zinc, Copper, and Zeaxanthin.
  • Treatments for Wet Macular Degeneration – We may recommend prescription drugs to treat wet macular degeneration. The most effective drugs are anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections that block the production of proteins responsible for the development of new blood vessels. We may also recommend photodynamic therapy or laser photocoagulation.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have a family history of age-related macular degeneration, risk factors for the disease, or have started exhibiting symptoms, you should be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. Call Pocono Eye Associates today or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We have three convenient offices in East Stroudsburg, Tobyhanna, and Brodheadsville. Each location is state of the art and provides comprehensive eye exams, general ophthalmology services and comprehensive surgical services to include cataract, glaucoma, retina, cornea and oculoplastic.

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