Macular Degeneration Care From Your Eye Doctor in Waukee and West Des Moines
When you want to look directly at a page of text, a TV screen or a loved one's face, you turn your eyes toward the object of your attention so you can look directly at it using your central vision -- but macular degeneration can destroy that essential part of your visual field. If you want to safeguard your eyesight against this leading cause of functional blindness, turn to your eye doctor in Waukee and West Des Moines, Dr. Michael Lock of Dr. Jenessa Lock, for timely diagnosis and soonest possible treatment.
Stealing Your Central Vision
The part of the retina responsible for processing central visual data is called the macula. This area provides the sharp, detailed vision you use when you look directly at something. Any condition that damages this tissue can interfere with your central vision. Macular degeneration, which typically doesn't become obvious until after age 60, may show no symptoms for years -- which only makes matters worse, because sufferers may assume that their eyes are fine even as the destruction (which is irreparable) continues. Eventually, straight lines may appear distorted and/or entire areas of central vision may "blank out." Even though macular degeneration spares the peripheral vision, it still causes more cases of functional blindness than both cataracts and glaucoma.
Macular degeneration occurs in two main stages. In the first stage, known as dry macular degeneration, deposits called drusen settle on the macula. Vision loss may start to occur during this stage. About 10 percent of macular degeneration cases advance to the "wet" stage. This stage is so named because abnormal blood vessels form underneath the retina. These abnormal blood vessels tend to leak blood into the eye, worsening your vision loss.
Need Macular Degeneration Treatment in West Des Moines?
As frightening as macular degeneration sounds, taking the proper steps to protect yourself against its effects can make an enormous difference in preserving your vision. Your West Des Moines optometrist can view the inside of your eye, including the retina and macula, as part of your routine comprehensive eye exam, letting us spot drusen and other telltale trouble signs. We can also check your ability to see straight lines with an Amsler grid. If you need macular degeneration treatment in West Des Moines, we can provide such helpful techniques as:
- Nutritional supplementation using the AREDS2 protocol, which may prevent the condition from becoming severe
- Eyewear that blocks UV rays and blue light, both of which can contribute to macular degeneration
- Injectable medications to curb the eye's production of abnormal blood vessels
- Co-management of laser treatments to seal leaks in blood vessels
Smart Care Starts With an Eye Exam from your West Des Moines Optometrist!
You can protect your all-important central vision for years to come, with the aid of your West Des Moines optometrist. Start today by calling Lock Family Eye Care at (515) 267-1312 for a comprehensive eye exam! We look forward to meeting with you!