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February is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Macular Degeneration also called Age-related Macular Degeneration is not a diagnosis most of us want to give much less receive. This condition is the leading cause of blindness in those over 65 years old. In America it effects approximately 15 million with two hundred thousand newly diagnosed cases annually and that number is expected to rise sharply.

There are two basic types of macular degeneration, wet and dry. The differentiation is new blood vessel growth which are weak and prone to leaking into the surrounding tissue causing disruption and cellular damage.

The majority of cases begin as the “dry” type and have between 8-10% chance annually of converting to the more serious “wet” macular degeneration. This condition effect a small area in the retina that is densely packed with photoreceptors needed for central vision. this area is where we can distinguish most colors and where we focus when we are reading watching television or looking at photos and cell phones. The photoreceptors in the area start to die and atrophy, but typically the peripheral vision is preserved.

The “wet” form with these newly formed weak blood vessels devastate the vision faster and cause greater damage. ¬†Because of this we recommend adult older the 55 years of age have an annual comprehensive eye exam.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of ARMD
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Race -Caucasins
  • poor diet
  • UV exposure

Treatments:

  • There is no cure
  • Smoking Cessations
  • Injections
  • Taking vitamin supplments
  • UV protection
  • Low Aids

BA Eye Site in Broken Arrow can diagnose and manage dry macular degeneration. We often will co-manage a patient with another specialist to help ensure our patients have access to the latest treatments and techniques to preserve sight. If this is a concern or runs in your family call us for a consultation.

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BA Eye Site
2500 W New Orleans St
Broken Arrow, OK 74011