Losing your vision or discovering new vision problems can be very scary. Macular Degeneration is the most common cause of visual disability for people over age 70. A common misconception is that nothing can be done for the early form of the disease. That’s false. Getting doctors to act early has also been a challenge in the US. It’s important that you get checked by a professional who’s up to date with modern risk reduction and treatment.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is an eye condition in which the central area of the retina, called the macula, degenerates due to health conditions or age. The macula is the part of the eye we use for out best, central and color vision. Age-related macular degeneration is usually a slow process and the changes seen on exam often precede anything noticeable by the patient. Later symptoms include a slowed reading speed before gradual loss of central vision. 90% of patients have frustrating vision loss. 10% have devastating loss.
How It’s Treated
If you have a family history of Macular Degeneration there are things you should do right now regardless of the eye findings or your age. Smoking raises your risk of serious vision loss by 400%. You can’t be serious about preventing vision loss and continue to smoke. Taking fish oil lowers your risk by 40%. Lutein (20 mg) lowers your risk by 30%.
For those with more advanced changes AREDS vitamins (not your ordinary dosed vitamins) reduce risk by 30%. For more advanced disease there are at least 4 medications that can be put in the eye from time to time. These can slow the progress of degeneration, stop it in its tracks, or even restore a small amount of your lost vision. Glasses don’t really help. There seems to be good evidence that micropulse lasers can help. These are special lasers that very few doctors have. We have one.
If you are suffering from symptoms of blurriness, shadows, or distortions in your central vision, it is important that you have an examination right away. Delay can be devastating. When macular degeneration is diagnosed and treated early, it protects your eyesight for as long as possible.
Don’t put off taking care of your eyes. If you suspect you have vision problems, including macular degeneration, contact us today for an appointment. We will give you a complete examination, accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment. Contact us today for more information.
A Tampa Tribune reader’s poll has ranked him as Pasco’s Best Eye Surgeon for the last 3 years.
PatientsChoice.org has recognized him as one of America’s Most Compassionate Doctors for 9 years in a row (2009-2017). He again won the Patient’s Choice Award for the 9th year in row this year. Both awards are given to less than 3% of doctors and based on patient voting. Dr. Mahootchi was in the top 1% in 2017.