Macular Degeneration

macular degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease of the eye(s) caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, known as the macula. The macula is the area responsible for central vision. Early symptoms of AMD can include distortion, causing lines to appear wavy, and blurring in your central vision, causing difficulty in reading, driving and recognizing faces. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in adults, and there is no cure. The effects of this disease are both permanent and irreversible.

Until recently, risk assessment for AMD was based only on the patient's family history and an examination of the retina. Otherwise, diagnosis of the disease is generally made after the patient has experienced visual anomalies and made an appointment with their eye care professional for an exam.

Unfortunately, once vision has been affected, cells in the retina have died and any vision loss that has occurred cannot be reversed. Determining risk for, and proactively taking steps to prevent it, is the only way to reduce chances of getting AMD.

What Can You Do?

There is now a device that measures the relative health of your macula. Swift Creek Eye Center can now better determine your risk for AMD simply by determining other risk factors and getting your Macular Pigment Optical Density leve1 (MPOD) measurement. Prior to this exam, you will be asked questions to assess what other risk factors you may have that can be associated with developing AMD.

With MPOD testing and supplemental intervention, it is possible to increase the pigment levels in your macula, thus lowering your risk for vision loss. We are the only office in Virginia that offers the MPOD to better determine through follow up screenings if nutritional intervention is resulting in increased macular pigment.

Swift Creek Eye Center is continually offering the latest technology and the best eye health care to our patients. Schedule your appointment today with one of our optometrists.