Macular Degeneration Services from Your Optometrist in Winnipeg
Most patients know very little about one important cause of loss of vision until their diagnosis. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye disease. Our optometrist in Winnipeg notes that while there is no cure, use of low-vision aids and following a healthy lifestyle can help manage it.
What is Macular Degeneration?
AMD affects the macula, the central portion of the retina that controls central vision. Deterioration results in problems with reading, driving a car, recognizing colors or faces, or seeing details of objects.
As macular cells deteriorate, the eye cannot process images correctly. Symptoms might not be apparent in the early stages of AMD. As it progresses, patients sometimes lose all central vision but retain peripheral vision.
A diagnosis of macular degeneration from a Westwood Optical Family Eye Care specialist could detect either of two types of AMD, according to our Winnipeg optometrist. Between 85 to 90 percent of patients have dry AMD. The rest have developed wet AMD, which is more serious and which begins as dry AMD.
Our eye doctor in Winnipeg notes that the specific causes of either type remain unknown. However, the environment and heredity probably have roles. The biggest risk factor is being older than 50. Others include smoking, excess weight, inactivity, light eye color, and hypertension.
Patients can have dry AMD in one or both eyes. Symptoms usually develop slowly and include:
- Blurry or hazy vision while reading or at a distance
- Needing more light for close work
- Dull-looking colors
- Trouble transitioning between light intensities
- Difficulty recognizing faces
- A blurred or blank spot in the central visual field
Typical wet AMD symptoms include:
- Distorted, irregular lines
- Dark spots in the visual field
- Central vision loss
- Size differences of objects viewed with each eye
- Differences between eyes in color perception
How Our Winnipeg Optometrist Treats Macular Degeneration
Early AMD diagnosis is crucial, according to our Winnipeg eye doctor. At an initial consultation, our Winnipeg optometrist conducts a thorough eye exam. A vision evaluation to detect AMD might include:
- Test of visual acuity
- Amsler grid
- Fluorescein angiogram
- Optical coherence tomography
After an AMD diagnosis, systematic monitoring is essential. Our optometrist in Winnipeg cites the importance of regular eye exams and helping patients learn steps to lower the risk that dry AMD will worsen.
Recommended lifestyle adjustments include dietary changes, smoking cessation, more physical activity, and protection from ultraviolet light. Many wet AMD patients benefit from certain injections to treat excessive blood vessels or from laser treatments. Our eye care team can recommend low-vision aids such as handheld computers.
For an evaluation from an eye doctor in Winnipeg, call us at Westwood Optical Family Eye Care today at (204) 837-2020. Any Winnipeg eye doctor among our six will be happy to perform an eye exam and discuss your options after an AMD diagnosis. We offer vision services to meet everyone’s needs.