Macular Degeneration

What to Know About Macular Degeneration Provided by a Wilmette, IL Optometrist

Did you recently receive a diagnosis for macular degeneration? Or are you just researching to see if you may possibly have it? Either way, this guide will help you understand more about this condition. You can learn what to expect during the diagnostic process at New Vision Optical Wilmette, serving Wilmette, IL and the nearby region. 

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General Information About Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a problem that occurs when the macula -- a portion of the light-sensitive tissue in your eye -- wears down. This condition tends to arise when you age and can cause you to lose your vision. It tends to occur more often when a person is 50 or older. 

This condition is the leading cause of blindness. In fact, it causes blindness in more people than cataracts and glaucoma combined. 

Two types of macular degeneration exist: wet and dry. The dry form happens over time while the wet form is a medical emergency that requires the attention of an eye specialist to treatment as soon as possible. The dry form occurs when the macula begins to thin as well as break down. The wet form develops when the macula in your eye grows abnormal vessels or has excess fluid build-up. 

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration 

With dry macular degeneration, you may have visual disturbances like straight lines that appear bent. You may lose some of your central vision and can develop issues with night vision. Dry macular degeneration can make printed words appear blurry while bright colors may not look as intense. You might find it hard to recognize faces.

Wet macular degeneration, on the other hand, requires emergency eye care from a Wilmette optometrist because your vision can deteriorate within days if you have this form. While you still need to see an optometry specialist as soon as possible with the other form, the symptoms arise slowly, and the damage is gradual. The symptoms of wet macular degeneration are similar. However, you may also develop a blind or blurry spot in your field of vision or haziness in your overall vision. In addition, the symptoms of this form appear much more rapidly. 

Diagnosing Macular Degeneration

When you visit your Wilmette optometrist for wet or dry macular degeneration, the process is the same. Your optometrist will perform a standard visual acuity test and comprehensive eye health screening. Your eye doctor will discuss your symptoms and inquire about your family's medical history. 

Your doctor will also use a special magnifying device to look at the back of your eye. Additionally, you'll receive a field vision test to evaluate your central vision. Your physician may also recommend a tomography or angiography. 

When you need either emergency eye care or a standard routine eye test for macular degeneration, an optometry specialist near you can help. You will receive testing and given treatment options to help you manage your condition and slow the progression. 

Schedule an eye exam with New Vision Optical Wilmette, serving Wilmette, IL and the general vicinity, if you have signs of macular degeneration or are 50 or over, by calling us at 847-230-4796.

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