Macular Degeneration

Cooper Eye Care -  - Optometry

Cooper Eye Care

Optometry located in Upper East Side, Manhattan, NY & Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, NY

According to the National Eye Institute, age-related macular degeneration is one of the most significant causes of vision loss in the United States and is projected to affect more than 5 million Americans by 2050. The prevalence of this serious eye health concern is why the team at Cooper Eye Care in Upper East Side, Bensonhurst, and Dyker Heights, New York City offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment of macular degeneration at their offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan. To learn more about protecting your eye health, book an eye exam and consultation today by phone or using the online booking option.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an incurable, progressive deterioration of your retina, which is the portion of your eye that collects images and transmits them to your brain by way of your optic nerve. When those tissues break down, your central vision is affected, which can make it hard to complete normal daily tasks like reading, driving, and caring for loved ones.

In one form of the condition, dry macular degeneration, deposits called drusen form on your retina. Another form, wet macular degeneration, causes abnormal blood vessel growth and bleeding in your retina.  

Because the condition becomes more pronounced with age, it’s often referred to as age-related macular degeneration or AMD.

What are the Stages of Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration has three stages: early, intermediate, and late.

  1. Early Stage: At this point, you may have no symptoms or vision loss. The only way to diagnose the condition is with a professional eye exam that checks for yellow deposits on your retina, called drusen.
  2. Intermediate Stage: In the intermediate stage, you may have minor vision loss, and an eye exam reveals larger drusen on your retina, as well as retinal pigment changes.
  3. Late Stage: At this point, most men and women develop noticeable vision loss. Because macular degeneration is irreversible, seeking treatment at this stage will not yield improvements in your vision.

How is Macular Degeneration Treated?

Treatment efforts for wet macular degeneration focus on addressing abnormal blood vessel growth in your retina. Your optometrist at Cooper Eye Care can prescribe certain medications to stop new vessels from developing and help keep existing vessels from leaking.

Laser treatments can destroy new blood vessels that are in an active growth stage. Some procedures incorporate light-sensitive medications with laser therapy to better target abnormal blood vessels.

Vitamin supplementation can also help slow vision loss in men and women with dry macular degeneration. It’s important to work with your eye health specialist at Cooper Eye Care to determine the best blend of supplements for your specific set of needs, as some vitamins and minerals can lead to negative reactions with certain drugs or lifestyle factors.

If you have macular degeneration, you might also benefit from special devices that use lenses or electronic components to enlarge images of objects close at hand.

Book a comprehensive eye exam today to learn more about your overall eye health and whether macular degeneration is a cause for concern. You can set up an appointment online or by calling the office.