Early Signs of Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration Symptoms and Treatment from 

Our Michigan Eye Doctors

Macular degeneration (also called age-related macular degeneration, or AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. At least 11 million Americans are living with it. At Michigan Eyecare Institute, serving Southfield, Livonia, Dearborn, and the surrounding communities, our optometrist and ophthalmologist team can diagnose this condition and help our patients better manage their symptoms.


Recognizing Macular Degeneration Symptoms and Warning Signs

The macula is the central part of the light-sensitive tissue inside your eye. Macular degeneration happens when this area degrades over time, either due to gradual breakdown of macular tissue (dry AMD) or, less commonly, due to abnormal growth of leaky blood vessels behind the macula (wet AMD). There may be no symptoms early on in this disease process. That's why it's so important to schedule a regular eye exam with an eye doctor who can detect early warning signs of macular degeneration. 

If symptoms of AMD do develop, a person will often notice:

  • Blurry central vision
  • Straight lines that look wavy or distorted
  • Decreased central vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare

Remember that it's possible to have macular degeneration without signs or symptoms early on. If you notice unusual issues like trouble reading, light sensitivity, distorted straight lines, or blurry vision while looking at people's faces, call an eye doctor right away. 

How an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist Can Help You with Macular Degeneration

As mentioned, both an optometrist and ophthalmologist can detect and diagnose macular degeneration, even while it's still in the asymptomatic stage. This is important, because it means you can get help earlier. Diagnosis of AMD may include a dilated eye exam, a visual acuity test, and techniques such as fundoscopy or use of an Amsler grid, which has many intersecting lines and can help detect or monitor the progression of macular degeneration.

Right now, there aren't any proven treatments or cures for AMD, although lots of research is being done. Your eye doctor can still help you by updating your corrective eyewear, teaching you and implementing low vision strategies, and prescribing certain medications or even nutritional supplements that may help slow the progression of AMD.

If you have macular degeneration, you can also help slow the progression of the disease by adopting eye-healthy habits like not smoking, exercising, controlling your blood pressure, protecting your eyes from ultraviolet radiation, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a nutrient-rich diet.

Concerned about Macular Degeneration?

Don't put off the care you need when it comes to your eye health. Contact Michigan Eye Care Institute of Livonia, Dearborn, and Southfield, MI, at (248) 352-2806 to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists or ophthalmologists today. 

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