It’s estimated that about 11 million people suffer from macular degeneration in America. Although it’s thought to be a problem for older people, younger people can get it too. Dr. Jay Rigney of Dr. Rigney Eyecare in Owasso, Collinsville, and Bartlesville, OK, lists what you need to know about macular degeneration.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is caused by problems with the macula, or the center part of the retina.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
This is macular degeneration that happens to anyone over 50. There are two types, wet and dry.
Can Kids Get Macular Degeneration?
Kids get a different type of macular degeneration called juvenile macular degeneration. This is an umbrella term that covers several different kinds of diseases. All of these conditions are rare, but all can cause some degree of permanent vision loss.
What are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
The first signs are often blurriness in the center of your vision. As the condition progresses, this blurriness worsens to a big black spot. The peripheral vision, or the far edges of your vision, remain clear. Eventually, you become legally, if not totally, blind.
Is Macular Degeneration Curable?
Unfortunately, macular degeneration of any type is incurable. However, there are things you and your eye doctor can do to help slow down its progression.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
In juvenile macular degeneration, the cause is usually genetic. For age-related macular degeneration, its exact cause is unknown. Macular degeneration is likely a consequence of the natural aging process.
Who is Prone to Getting Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
It is known that some groups of people are more prone to getting macular degeneration. Anyone over 50, smokers, and people with close relatives that have macular degeneration are more likely to experience it. Those who are overweight, have high blood pressure, have heart disease, and eat a diet high in saturated fat are also more likely to suffer from it.
Are Diabetics at Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Diabetics are not only at risk of getting age-related macular degeneration but a host of other eye problems like cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetics must get their eyes checked by an eye doctor or optometrist at least once per year.
How is Macular Degeneration Treated?
Major lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and quitting smoking can slow down age-related macular degeneration. They also help all other aspects of your health, too. Diabetics need to get their blood sugar levels under control. Talk to your eye doctor about how to protect your eyes from UV light, which can cause macular degeneration to worsen.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Jay Rigney for Macular Degeneration Treatment
Call Dr. Rigney Eye Care today at (918) 272-3937 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist.