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Macular Degeneration

PRESERVE YOUR VISION

Our goal is to help you preserve your vision. As we get older, we are more prone to eye disease. Our doctors use advanced measures to diagnose and help you manage difficult eye-related problems.

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WHAT IS MACULAR DEGENERATION?

Age-related macular degeneration also referred to as, AMD, occurs when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. When your eye is looking directly at an object, light rays from that object are focused on a small but important area in the center of the retina called the macula. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for sharp, detailed central vision called visual acuity. You need the macula to clearly see objects directly in front of you such as faces, text, and a clock on the wall.

With AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close to you or far away. Your peripheral or side vision, on the other hand, will still be normal. An example taken from the American Academy of Ophthalmology website describes having AMD using a clock on the wall. If you are looking at a clock on the wall, you may be able to clearly see all of the numbers on the clock but not the clock’s hands. The clock’s hands may appear black, blurry, or splotchy.

TYPES OF MACULAR DEGENERATION

TYPES OF MACULAR DEGENERATION

DRY AMD – This type of macular degeneration is the most common. With dry AMD, parts of the macula get thinner as you age. It is also associated with drusen, yellow deposits made up of lipids, fatty proteins, under the retina. Drusen do not likely cause age-related macular degeneration, but having drusen increases a person’s risk of developing AMD.

WET AMD – Though less common than dry AMD, wet AMD is more severe. Wet AMD is associated with the abnormal growth of blood vessels (known as choroidal neovascularization) under the retina and macula. These new blood vessels may then bleed and leak fluid, causing the macula to bulge or lift up from its normally flat position, thus distorting or destroying central vision. Under these circumstances, vision loss may be rapid and severe.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? LIVE WELL!

WHAT CAN YOU DO? LIVE WELL!

The following measures are things you can do that may help:

  • LOOK TO YOUR DOCTORS: For example, if you have cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, take your medication and follow your doctor’s instructions for controlling the condition.
  • INVESTIGATE: Macular degeneration runs in families. If it runs in your family, you may be at greater risk. Also, as you get older you are at an increased risk as well. Have you already been told you have macular degeneration? Investigate adaptations available for low vision.
  • VEGETABLES AND FRUITS: Choose a healthy diet that’s full of a variety of fruits and vegetables. These foods contain antioxidant vitamins that may reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration.
  • EAT FISH: Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Nuts, such as walnuts, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
  • WEIGHT: Maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, reduce the number of calories you eat and increase the amount of exercise you get each day.
  • EYE EXAMS: Have at least one routine eye exam yearly. A dilated eye exam can identify macular degeneration.
  • LOSE THE HABIT: Quit smoking and/or never start. Smokers are more likely to develop macular degeneration.
  • LEARN: Learn about potential changes you may have to make in your life due to low vision and find support.

 

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6344 South 900 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
Right across from Wheeler Farm
(801) 892-8222