When it comes to dangerous eye diseases, macular degeneration certainly tops the list.  Ask any ophthalmologist about macular degeneration, and you’ll likely hear a laundry list of reasons why this eye disease is one of the leading causes of blindness in older Americans.  Needless to say, you know you should be on the lookout for macular degeneration.

But…what exactly is macular degeneration? And what symptoms should you keep an eye out for?

Macular degeneration is more commonly referred to as “age-related macular degeneration” (AMD) for good reason – it’s most likely to impact older individuals who are over the age of 50.  The reason for this is simple – the macula (the light-sensitive tissue located in the back of the eye) begins to break down and deteriorate as we get older.  When this deterioration occurs, it becomes much harder for the individual to clearly see finer details. 

Think of the macula as the part of your eye that’s directly responsible for helping you discern details in your vision field. When the macula breaks down, it becomes harder to make out smaller details; that’s why many people with AMD start to experience the following:

  • It becomes harder to see at night
  • It becomes almost impossible to read fine print
  • It’s difficult to read street signs
  • You experience dark spots in your field of vision

While macular degeneration is an unfortunate side effect of the aging process, that doesn’t mean you need to be resigned to it happening.  Your ophthalmologist can help you stay on top of any symptoms associated with macular degeneration; if you’re diagnosed, he or she can prescribe a variety of treatments, which may include:

  • Proper nutritional support
  • Injection treatments
  • Laser treatments
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • And more!

To learn more about what steps you should take to prevent the onset of macular degeneration, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia.  Dr. Griffiths specializes in diagnosing and treating macular degeneration; she can also provide you with key advice that will keep your eyes healthy well into your golden years.

NewView Eye Center also serves the greater Washington, DC areas.