Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in America, affecting more people than glaucoma and cataracts combined. If you’re experiencing changes to your vision and don’t know why, it’s important to seek professional medical help. At Littzi Eye Care in New Canaan and Greenwich, Connecticut, Jacqueline Littzi, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating macular degeneration. To request your appointment, call the office nearest you or use the online booking tool today.
Macular degeneration is a serious vision-related health problem that causes the central portion of your retina, known as the macula, to deteriorate. Your macula is responsible for focusing central vision. It also controls your ability to read, drive, and recognize faces and colors.
As the cells of your macula begin to deteriorate, your eye is unable to process images from the visual center of your brain. Over time, this causes wavy or blurred vision and, ultimately, blindness.
There are two categories of macular degeneration, called wet AMD and dry EMD.
Dry or atrophic macular degeneration occurs in 85-90% of people with macular degeneration. Wet or exudative macular degeneration affects only 10-15% of people with macular degeneration.
The symptoms of macular degeneration vary from person to person and depend on the type and severity of your condition. However, telltale signs of macular degeneration include:
If you try to read a book or newspaper, you might also notice blurry areas on the printed page.
To diagnose macular degeneration, Dr. Littzi does a comprehensive eye exam and reviews your medical history. She might also recommend additional screening tests like a dilated eye exam, autofluorescence — which takes pictures of your retina — or fundoscopy, a test that allows Dr. Littzi to view the structures at the back of your eye.
After gathering this information, Dr. Littzi can determine the type and severity of your macular degeneration.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for macular degeneration. However, healthy lifestyle changes can slow its progression and improve your overall quality of life.
Dr. Littzi might recommend quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and protecting your eyes from the sun’s harsh UV rays. She might also recommend nutritional therapy. Eating a diet that’s high in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants can support the cells of your macula and prevent further damage.
If necessary, Dr. Littzi also offers more invasive treatments, including anti-VEGF therapy, a medication that slows the growth of extra blood vessels in the eye, and laser photocoagulation, a laser surgery that can destroy or at least shrink abnormal growths at the back of the eye.
Take any sign of vision loss seriously. If you suspect you’re at risk of macular degeneration, make an appointment at Littzi Eye Care today by calling the office nearest you or by using the online booking tool.