Macular Degeneration

High blood pressure, a high-fat diet, and smoking are all risk factors for an eye condition called macular degeneration, which causes distortion in your central vision. At THIRDCOAST RETINA in Kenosha, Wisconisn, retina specialist Clinton Warren, MD, provides testing and treatment for the two primary types of macular degeneration. To explore your treatment options, call THIRDCOAST RETINA or schedule an appointment online today.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye condition that causes harmful changes to your macula — the central part of your light-sensitive retina. As a retina specialist, Dr. Warren routinely sees patients with macular degeneration and can provide treatment when necessary to preserve your eyesight. 

Common symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Blurry or wavy vision
  • Trouble with facial recognition
  • Blind or dark spot in the center of your vision
  • Trouble reading

Macular degeneration and other conditions involving the macula affect the center of your field of vision. It can cause a severe loss of your central vision, but total blindness from macular degeneration is extremely rare. 

Which type of macular degeneration do I have?

THIRDCOAST RETINA specializes in identifying and treating the two types of macular degeneration using the latest and most advanced techniques. Dr. Warren and the team might diagnose you with:

Dry macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration accounts for around 80% of all cases. The light-sensitive cells of the macula gradually break down over time. While exact causes are unknown, there are several genetic and environmental risk factors like your age, a fat-filled diet, smoking, and high blood pressure. 

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is the rarer form and usually leads to more severe vision loss than dry macular degeneration. You get it when many unusual blood vessels form on your retina, often leaking fluid and blood into your eye. 

What are my treatment options for macular degeneration?

Dr. Warren and the team at THIRDCOAST RETINA look at your eyes with a thorough examination to determine the type of macular degeneration you have and the progression of the disease. They might use testing methods, like the Amsler grid or a visual acuity test. 

The treatments depend on the extent of the condition, your age, and other relevant factors. While dry macular degeneration currently has no treatment, visual rehabilitation programs and training can help you improve your vision. 

Wet macular degeneration tends to improve with the use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medications. These agents help reduce the formation of blood vessels in your retina. Sometimes, Dr. Warren and the team use laser therapy alongside this treatment. 

For more information on macular degeneration and how each type affects your eyes, call THIRDCOAST RETINA or schedule an eye exam online today.