Age-Related Macular Degeneration Care with our Jacksonville Optometrist
Considered the leading cause of vision loss worldwide, age-related macular degeneration (AMD for short) is estimated to affect as many as 10 million older Americans. At Val-Uvision, our teams of optometrists in Jacksonville have treated many patients who are either newly diagnosed with this condition or simply looking for ways to optimize their eyesight well after diagnosis.
Our Jacksonville Optometrist Explains Macular Degeneration
In the back of each of your eyes you have thin tissue known as the retina. This tissue contains the specialized rod and cone cells which are necessary for helping you see. The center of the retina is known as the macula; it's important for helping you with tasks like reading and seeing faces.
In someone who develops AMD, the macula begins to slowly degrade over time. This condition has two main clinical manifestations: wet and dry.
- In wet AMD (exudative), small blood vessels overgrow behind the retina, which leak and cause macular scarring and thinning. This type is less common.
- In dry AMD (atrophic), macular pigmentation occurs as well as macular thinning, which is associated with the proliferation of small fatty deposits known as drusen.
Both types of AMD can develop for a long time before symptoms show up; when they do appear, a person will notice blurry distorted vision in the center of their visual field (side vision typically remains intact).
As you might guess by its name, one of the primary risk factors for AMD is advancing age. Why exactly it occurs in certain people and not others is not entirely clear, although both environmental factors (such as UV radiation exposure, diabetes, and cigarette smoking) as well as hereditary factors are believed to play a role.
How Our Jacksonville Optometrist Team Helps People Living with AMD
AMD can't be cured, but our Jacksonville optometrist team offers several solutions which may help slow disease progression as well as help you learn to manage and compensate for any changes to your vision:
- Patient education on nutritional and lifestyle changes
- Pre- and post-operative support for laser photocoagulation (for wet type)
- Implementation of low vision strategies
Are You At Risk for AMD? Contact Our Optometry Clinic in Jacksonville Today to Schedule Your Next Eye Exam
As you're getting older, it's important to have your eyes examined on a regular basis; the earlier eye health conditions are diagnosed (including age-related macular degeneration), the earlier appropriate intervention can begin. So contact Val-Uvision today by calling 904-701-0223 to schedule your next comprehensive eye exam with an experienced Jacksonville doctor of optometry. We have 2 locations for your convenience!