Early Symptoms of Macular Dystrophy

The Early Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. More than ten million Americans have macular degeneration which is more than those who have cataracts and glaucoma combined. Our ophthalmologist in Naples, Florida at Naples Eye Physicians can provide a firm diagnosis of macular degeneration and develop a treatment plan.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration happens when the portion of the retina known as the macula becomes damaged. The patient loses the ability to see little details in the central field of vision. That loss happens for both near and far vision but the peripheral or side vision remains unchanged. Imagine looking at a photograph with a blurry spot in the middle and only the outside edges come into focus.

Dry Macular Degeneration

There are two types of macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is the most common type. As patients age, the macula begins to thin and small clumps of protein grow and interfere with vision.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is less common. In these patients, new blood vessels form beneath the retina. Those vessels aren't supposed to be there and they can leak blood or other fluids into the eye.

The Early Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

There are no early-stage symptoms of macular degeneration. As it progresses patients may experience blurry or wavy vision. Sometimes a patient will lose central vision completely in the late stages.

Treating Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration isn't curable but researchers are developing new therapies. Our ophthalmologist can treat an early-stage dry macular degeneration patient with nutritional support and supplements to increase antioxidants in the body. Some wet macular degeneration patients have been helped by a therapy that combines laser treatment and medication. Others are helped by injections that encourage blood vessels in the eye to grow.

Schedule an Eye Exam Today

Because there are no macular degeneration symptoms early on, it is important to schedule a yearly exam with an eye doctor. Our ophthalmologist in Naples, Florida at Naples Eye Physicians will screen you for macular degeneration during your check-up. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at (239) 262-6288.