Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration By Dr. Parks on March 09, 2013

older-manAs people get older, their bodies go through a number of changes. This is especially true with the eyes. Cataracts, glaucoma, and other serous vision problems become more prevalent has people get older. One particular condition called macular degeneration is the leading cause of major vision loss in people over the age of 60. The team at our Los Angeles eye surgery centers would like to take a moment right now to look at macular degeneration and how it can be detected.

About Macular Degeneration

One of the most important parts of the eye is the retina. Located in the back of the eye, the retina is light-sensitive tissue that is essential for seeing properly. When people age, the central portion of the retina (the macula) can sometimes deteriorate. This is known as macular degeneration.

There are two kinds of macular degeneration:

  • Dry macular degeneration: Dry macular degeneration involves drusen (small yellow deposits) developing under the retina. Atrophy of the retina is also considered dry macular degeneration.

  • Wet macular degeneration: Wet macular degeneration involves blood vessels growing beneath the retina and releasing fluid into the retina resulting in distorted vision. Wet macualr degeneration is rarer than the dry form.

Our ophthalmology centers in Beverly Hills and North Los Angeles are well-equipped to address the needs of patients who suffer from either dry or wet macular degeneration.

Detecting and Diagnosing Macular Degeneration

In most cases, macular degeneration can be identified in a routine eye examination. Eye doctors will look for drusen deposits while examining your eyes. Early detection is key to getting effective treatment, so be sure to meet with your eye doctor for regular check-ups. If Los Angeles macular degneration is likely, we will be here for you.

Tests Performed to Spot Macular Degeneration

There are a few common tests that are performed during an eye exam to spot macular degeneration:

  • Amsler grid: An Amsler grid is basically like a sheet of graph paper or a checkerboard. People who have macular degeneration may see lines on the grid as wavy rather than straight, or they may not be able to see certain lines on the grid.

  • Fluorescein angiogram: This test will involve the injection of a special fluid into the arm that will allow eye doctors to identify blood vessels that are otherwise hard to see.

  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT): The OCT test is used to create an image of the patient's retina. It's a test used to determine how far the macular degeneration has progressed.

Treatments for Macular Degeneration

The various treatments for macular degeneration will not be able to reverse the condition, but they will be able to prevent further loss of vision. The best treatment for your needs will depend on the severity of your macular degeneration. Certain vitamin supplements, drugs, and surgical options will be considered to help halt the effects of macular degeneration.

Learn More About Advanced Eye Care Treatments

For more information about macular degeneration and how we can treat many different kinds of retinal problems, be sure to contact our Los Angeles area eye care center today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve better vision and health eyes.

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Dr. David J. Parks

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