Arizona Eye Center Procedures – Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is caused by deterioration of the central portion of the retina, called the macula. The macula is the part of the eye that is responsible for sharp, central vision, which allows us to see and recognize objects that are straight ahead. Detailed visual activities, such as reading, watching television, driving, and even recognizing faces, involve use of the macula.
As a person ages and the macula begins to break down, central vision begins to fade. Macular degeneration is an insidious and dangerous condition because it often progresses so slowly that symptoms are difficult to recognize. It is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss and legal blindness in individuals over the age of 50.
The best known risk factor to developing macular degeneration is age. Other risk factors can lead to early-onset or faster progression of the disease, including family history, smoking, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes. Often, patients have macular degeneration in one eye, but it goes unnoticed because the other eye compensates for the loss. By the time vision loss from macular degeneration becomes obvious, sometimes it cannot be restored.
Early detection of macular degeneration is very important because there are treatments, nutritional intervention, and lifestyle changes that can delay or reduce the severity of the disease. Annual eye examinations are a vital part of the early detection process. In the advanced stages of the disease, there are laser treatments and injection options that can help preserve remaining vision.
At Arizona Eye Center, we monitor and treat patients suffering from macular degeneration every day. We conduct comprehensive examinations and work with each patient to develop individualized healthy interventional and preventative treatment options designed to help slow or halt the progression of the disease.