Across the United States, there are over 11 million people who have macular degeneration. It is a leading cause of loss of sight for people over 60, but macular degeneration may start in some people while they are still in their forties. Lock Family Eye Care can help you get the timely diagnosis that may help save your sight. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about macular degeneration from your optometrist in West Des Moines, IA at Lock Family Eye Care.
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the macula, the center mass of the retina. Macular degeneration slowly create a "doughnut hole" in your field of vision, leading to complete loss of central vision.
Who is at risk for macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration can be a side effect of certain prescription medications. It can also result as a complication of exposure to pesticides. Most people who develop macular degeneration are smokers, people who have a family history of macular degeneration, and those aged 65 and over.
Can I do anything to prevent macular degeneration?
There is good evidence that making sure you get enough beta-carotene, zinc, and a few other vitamins greatly reduces your long-term risk of developing macular degeneration, if you start taking the right supplements when you are young. Your optometrist can help you find the supplements that work best for preventing macular degeneration. It is also important to wear glasses that block UV light, and not to wear sunglasses that aren't treated with materials to block UV light. Sunglasses that don't block UV light cause your pupils to dilate and let in more light, but don't block UV light.
What are the early symptoms of macular degeneration?
The earliest sign of macular degeneration is fuzzy vision. You might see a line of visual distortion near the center of your field of vision. You might have OK vision during the day, but trouble seeing things at night. Straight lines that appear wavy is also a sign of macular degeneration. Your optometrist will notice signs of macular degeneration in your eye exam.
Get your eyes checked by your optometrist once a year to catch macular degeneration early.
Lock Family Eye Care provides high-quality vision and eye care services to people in West Des Moines, Urbandale, Waukee, Johnston, and surrounding Iowa communities. Call us at (515) 267-1312 or request your appointment online today. The offices of Lock Family Eye Care are located at 101 Jordan Creek Pkwy, # 12190, West Des Moines, IA, 50266.