What Most People Don’t Know About Macular Degeneration

Mar 23, 2023
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Macular degeneration is an age-related eye disease that affects many Americans and is the number one cause of vision loss. Find out more about this common health condition here.

An estimated 11 million people in the United States have macular degeneration – an eye condition that affects central vision. The detachment of your macula causes macular degeneration, which is the central part of your retina located in the back of your eye.

Macular degeneration progresses slowly and can cause symptoms like reduction in central vision, distorted lines in your field of vision, trouble recognizing faces, and retinal damage.

Jeffery Rapkin, MD, and the rest of our team at Retina Consultants of Muncie specialize in retina care. We offer insight into macular degeneration, including some facts you may not have known.

The risk factors of macular degeneration

While the exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown, experts agree that some factors can increase your risk of developing this health condition. Those factors include:

  • Being over the age of 60
  • Having a diet low in zinc and antioxidants
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Having a family history of macular degeneration

Some evidence even suggests there is a link between cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration. Making lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease can also reduce your risk of macular degeneration.

The kinds of macular degeneration

There are two kinds of macular degeneration: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is more common, accounting for 85-90% of people with the condition. Wet macular degeneration makes up the remaining 10-15%. 

The two types of macular degeneration share many of the same symptoms; however, wet macular degeneration can progress much more quickly than dry macular degeneration.

The treatment options for macular degeneration

There is no cure for macular degeneration; however, treatments are available to help slow down its progression. 

To treat dry macular degeneration, a combination of vitamins and supplements is prescribed to prevent the condition from worsening. You can manage the symptoms by adjusting the lighting in your home and switching to large fonts for books and your phone.

For wet macular degeneration, a few more treatment options are available in addition to supplements. Our team may recommend medication, called anti-VEGF, which gets injected into your eye, or photodynamic therapy, which uses a combination of injections and laser treatments.

The bottom line

Macular degeneration can be detected through annual eye exams, even if you’re not showing any symptoms, which is why it’s so vital to come in every year for your eye exams.

To schedule an appointment with us for your annual eye exam, call our office in Muncie, Indiana, at 765-254-1944 or use our online booking tool today.