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Macular Degeneration in Tulsa
As we age it is increasingly important to get a regular eye exam to protect against macular degeneration in Tulsa. Harrel Eyecare in Tulsa is here to answer your questions and provide treatment for macular degeneration. Before you make your appointment for an eye exam and vision testing for this disease, learn more about age-related macular degeneration or AMD.
Understanding Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is the number one reason for vision loss in aging adults. If you are over 50 you could be among the 1.8 million who have this age-related eye disease. Some people are more likely to develop AMD early on including Caucasian women.
The disease affects the macula, which is the central part of the retina that is vital for seeing details clearly. When you suffer from macular degeneration, the macula is destroyed with either wet or dry AMD. Wet macular degeneration is the result of fluids leaking from blood vessels beneath the macula. Dry AMD is caused when the macula thins out and is no longer operational.
The major issue with macular degeneration, for both wet and dry types, is that once the macula is damaged it cannot be repaired. As a result, you can suffer from permanent vision loss in this area, which will cause you to be able to see things clearly.
Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
For most people, the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration do not show up until it is too late for treatment. During the early stage of AMD, you will likely not have any symptoms. This is why it is so important to get regular eye exams as you age, so your optometrist can detect AMD as soon as possible and begin treatments.
For advanced AMD you will start losing the ability to see clearly. Objects may look distorted or crooked, and you may lose the clarity of your color vision. You could also see an empty, dark space in the center of everything you look at. These are all tell-tale signs that you are suffering from age-related macular degeneration, and you need to see our optometrist immediately. If left untreated you can lose this part of your vision permanently.
Treating Macular Degeneration
The first step in treating macular degeneration is a diagnosis. Our optometrist will conduct several types of eye exams. These will likely include a dilated eye exam and visual acuity test, as well as eye exams using the Amsler grid, fluorescein angiogram, and optical coherence tomography.
Treatment will depend on whether you are diagnosed with early AMD, intermediate AMD, or late macular degeneration. For individuals in the early stage of age-related macular degeneration, the best treatment is lifestyle changes. These include eating a nutritious whole foods diet of green leafy vegetables and certain types of fish. You are also recommended to quit smoking and exercise regularly.
For intermediate and late AMD the treatment is nutritional supplements developed by the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies or AREDS. Through a prescribed combination of certain vitamins and minerals, you can reduce the progression of the disease. For those with serious macular degeneration, laser surgery, injections, and photodynamic therapy are options for treating damage associated with the condition.
Contact Our Tulsa Optometrist for AMD
To protect yourself against age-related macular degeneration in Tulsa OK contact our optometrist today. Dr. Monte Harrel offers comprehensive eye exams and treatments for AMD. Contact Harrel Eyecare at 918-376-7972 to schedule an appointment.