Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. This eye disease gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Your central vision is essential for seeing objects clearly and for tasks such as reading and driving.

This disease affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail and causes no pain. The three Hecht Eye Institute offices all provide macular degeneration screenings.   

Types of Macular Degeneration

Wet

In the wet form, newly created abnormal blood vessels grow under the center of the retina. The blood vessels leak, bleed, and scar the retina, distorting or destroying central vision. Vision distortion usually starts in one eye and may affect the other eye later. In contrast to the dry type, vision loss may be rapid in the wet type of macular degeneration.

Dry

Dry macular degeneration results from the gradual breakdown of cells in the macula. Central vision becomes gradually blurred. Single or multiple, small, round, yellow-white spots called drusen are the key identifiers for the dry type.

Drusen occur in the back of the eye at the level of the outer retina. Drusen are detected by an examination of the retina in Dr. Hecht’s offices. Dr. Hecht uses specially engineered lenses to detect drusen. The spots usually become visible when people reach their late 30s or older. But they are much more common in people over 70. 

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

  • Blurred or decreased central close-up and distance vision, which is often delayed because patients sometimes ignore the eye with the worst vision prior to the development of the condition in the previously good eye.

  • Blind spots or scotomas

  • Straight lines look irregular or bent, called metamorphopsia, and objects appear a different color or shape in each of the eyes.

  • Objects may appear smaller in one eye than the other. This may also indicate a swelling and bulging of the macula.

This material only answers the basic question “What is Macular Degeneration?”. To thoroughly understand this disease and to be proactive in your vision health it is in your best interest to see Dr. Hecht for a full screening.

Protect your vision. Book your appointment with Dr. Hecht at Hecht Eye Institute today!

 
Hecht Eye Institute