Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people age 60 and older, but there are treatments that can stop it from progressing and even improve your vision. At his practice offices in Rochester Hills and Hazel Park, Michigan, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Gerald J. Mullan treats macular degeneration through lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.
Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the macula, the small central part of your retina. Your retina senses light, and your macula is at the center. Your macula allows you to see clear details in front of you, so you can read and recognize people’s faces. It’s responsible for how you perform on eye chart texts, determining how sharp your vision is.
It’s extremely rare for macular degeneration to make someone completely blind, but it can greatly impair your vision, making activities like driving, reading, watching television, and using a computer difficult or impossible.
The condition results in “blind spots” in your central vision — dark, blurry areas that look like what you can see has been erased. You may also find your vision is blurry and you find it harder to see different colors.
There are two forms of macular degeneration:
85%-90% of macular degeneration cases are dry. Dry macular degeneration results from deposits called drusen that form under the retina.
Though there’s no cure for dry macular degeneration, it’s less likely to cause permanent severe vision loss than wet macular degeneration. However, this form does result in blurry vision, sometimes causes blind spots, and in some cases a loss of central vision.
Wet macular degeneration accounts for 10-15% of macular degeneration cases, but about 90% of severe and irreversible vision loss from macular degeneration. Not all cases of the dry form lead to the wet form, but the wet form always starts out as dry. The symptoms of the wet form appear much more suddenly than the dry form.
The wet form results from abnormal blood vessels growing underneath the macula, which leak blood and cause wavy vision, blind spots, and a loss of central visit. The resulting scarring eventually causes permanent loss of central vision.
Dr. Mullan determines a treatment plan based on the form of macular degeneration you have and how advanced it is.
If you have dry macular degeneration, treatment mainly focuses on habits that can help you slow the degeneration and adjust to changes in your vision. Dr. Mullan helps you follow a diet high in antioxidants, recommends a formula of supplements that can slow vision loss, and provides vision aids that enlarge nearby objects.
Treatment for wet macular degeneration involves lifestyle changes and procedures that target abnormal blood vessel growth, which may include:
Though macular degeneration is an unsettling condition, treatment can allow you to preserve your vision and lead a happy, active life. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullan, call or use the online booking tool.