The eye may be small but it is an incredibly complex collection of highly delicate parts that must all work in sync to produce a clear image of what the person is looking at. The retina is the portion of the eye that is filled with light sensitive material and where the light coming into the eye produces images of the world, which are eventually transported to the brain through the optic nerve. Our Rockville eye specialist at The Retina Group of Washington diagnoses and treats disease of the retina. One retina condition that affects many Americans is called Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD); this debilitating eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60 and often comes on without any warning or even recognizable symptoms until it has progressed.
AMD is caused by a deterioration of the retina’s macular, which is the central portion of the retina. The macular is responsible for central vision and our ability to see color and fine detail of an object when looking directly at it. As AMD progresses images may become distorted or blurry or a dark spot in the middle of the visual field develops. Over time the patient’s ability to read, drive and even recognize faces can be affected. The good news is with advancements in diagnostic and treatment methods our Rockville eye specialist is able to help the patient maintain visual acuity and in many cases even improve it. There are several different types of AMD but these can be combined into two basic varieties, dry and wet AMD. About 90 percent of AMD sufferers have the dry form of the disease, which is a results of an aging and thinning of the macular tissues. Dry AMD develops slowly and usually causes mildly decreased vision. Often tiny yellow deposits, known as drusen develop under the retina and these are the early symptoms of the disease. Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect AMD early. Dry AMD is often treated through a combination of supplements, changes in vision correction prescriptions and the use of vision aids, such as magnifying glasses and brighter lights.
Wet AMD is much more serious and is caused by the development of delicate blood vessels behind the retina, which begin to leak and push on the macular making it uneven. Our Rockville eye specialist may conduct special tests to diagnose wet AMD. The disease can cause moderate to severe vision loss. Our doctors treat wet AMD through the use of new drugs injected directly into the eye and sometimes use laser therapy to prevent the blood vessels from leaking. The key to preventing the damage of both forms of AMD is early detection so, if you are over the age of 55 come into our offices for an eye exam to detect AMD and other debilitating eye diseases.