Macular Degeneration

Retina Specialist located in Oak Brook, IL

Macular Degeneration

According to the National Eye Institute, nearly 20 genes affect your risk of developing macular degeneration. At Next Level Retina in Oak Brook, Illinois, Neel Lamba, MD, MBA, knows how the impaired vision that’s associated with macular degeneration can negatively impact your daily life. Dr. Lamba is a macular degeneration specialist providing attentive and individualized optometric care. Call the practice or request an appointment online.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration occurs when your normally clear vision starts to turn hazy. A hallmark symptom of macular degeneration is a blind spot that generally forms in the center of your field of vision.

Macular degeneration is more common in people over 65 and is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The blurred and impaired central vision happens as a result of the thinning of the macula near the center of your retina.

The condition usually starts in one eye and later progresses and affects both eyes. Dry macular degeneration may progress into neovascular or wet macular degeneration, where the blood vessels grow under the retina and start to leak.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

Common symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Visual distortions, such as when straight lines appear bent
  • Impaired central vision in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty adapting to changes in lighting
  • Trouble reading letters and words and blurred vision

Some people with macular degeneration report needing brighter lights when focusing on things up close, such as reading.

Symptoms of macular degeneration develop slowly over time, and the condition is usually painless.

It’s important you stay up-to-date with your comprehensive eye exams so Dr. Lamba can detect any abnormalities early on. If you notice any changes in your central vision or other unusual signs, visit Dr. Lamba as soon as possible.

What causes macular degeneration?

The exact cause of macular degeneration isn’t definitive, but many experts point to a combination of genetics and environmental factors, such as poor nutrition and smoking.

Factors that increase your risk for macular degeneration include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease

As your eye ages, you naturally experience wear and tear and the breaking down and thinning of certain parts of your eye, such as the macula.

How is macular degeneration treated?

To treat macular degeneration, Dr. Lamba might recommend:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as optimal nutrition
  • Nutritional supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin
  • Medicated injections
  • Laser therapy
  • Low vision devices, such as telescopes and handheld magnifiers

The earlier macular degeneration is detected, the better your chances of preventing any further vision loss with effective medical and self-care methods and treatments.

If you experience changes in your vision and have concerns about your eye health, call Next Level Retina or use the online booking option to schedule an appointment today.