Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of legal blindness

Macular Degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and other developed countries around the world. It affects about 6% of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 and 20% of those over the age of 75.

In a normal eye, images enter the front of the eye through the cornea and pass through the lens, where light or image is focused on the retina, the structure in the back of the eye. This image is focused on the central portion of the retina, known as the macula. The macula is a very small part of the retina that is responsible for receiving our central vision. The rest of the retina is responsible for our side or peripheral vision. Central vision is what we utilize when we read, drive, sew and for other fine details. In the healthy eye the image is clear and sharp. Patients with Macular Degeneration may notice either slight or severe changes in central vision, such as blurred or missing words on pages, or straight lines may be distorted.

There are two forms of Macular Degeneration, “wet” and “dry”. Over 70% of the population suffers from the “dry” type. The “dry” macular degeneration usually is accompanied by yellow aging spots in the macular area. However, vision may not be greatly affected, and will usually change gradually.

The other type of Macular Degeneration is the “wet” type. There is fluid and blood behind the retina due to abnormal blood vessels. In some cases, laser surgery may be beneficial. Your eye doctor can diagnose Macular Degeneration during a complete eye exam.

At present, there is no cure for the condition. Some scientists have suggested that some vitamins and minerals may help, such as antioxidants like Vitamin E & C and Zinc. Talk to your physician about the use of these antioxidants before you begin. If you would like more information on Macular Degeneration, call our office at (716) 896-8831. For more information on Macular Degneration, watch the video below.

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