Eye Doctor for Macular Degeneration in Fort Myers
Macular degeneration (AMD) is an age-related condition in which vision is affected by a disease of the part of the retina called the macula. Because the macula is the part of the eye used for the sharpest vision, people with AMD lose their central vision and have trouble reading, using digital devices, and recognizing faces. If you have or suspect you have AMD, it is important to see an eye doctor for your macular degeneration. In Fort Myers, you are fortunate to have Elmquist Eye Group, long considered the best eye doctors in southwest Florida.
Can AMD be treated?
Although AMD becomes progressively worse over time and has no cure, the disease can be treated. These treatments are aimed at slowing the progression of the disease. Our Elmquist team is a firm believer in early detection of AMD, and regular eye exams are a big part of that. AMD like many eye diseases has no signs or symptoms in the early stages. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to detect the disease.
Our Elmquist physicians can use laser surgery treatments to slow the disease, reduce vision loss and preserve your remaining vision. We perform two types of laser outpatient surgeries. The first is laser photocoagulation, in which the surgeon uses a laser to burn abnormal blood vessels to stop their growth under the retina. This treatment can reduce further vision loss.
The second procedure is called photodynamic therapy (PDT). A dye is injected into an arm vein. The dye then travels to the area of these abnormal blood vessels which have grown under the retina. Once the vessels are highlighted with the dye, the surgeon has a roadmap to use the laser to block any further vessel growth.
Can AMD be prevented?
Our doctors can work together with you to prevent AMD. Because AMD is hereditary, it is important to know your family history of the disease. We also cannot emphasize enough how important regular eye exams twice a year are to your health. If you smoke, you should stop because smokers are at very high risk for developing AMD – four times more likely than non-smokers, in fact. High cholesterol may also be a risk factor for AMD; the cholesterol build up can damage the blood vessels in the retina. Additionally, high blood pressure may be linked to AMD.
The Elmquist difference
While patients with AMD retain good peripheral vision, they continue to lose central vision capability. In fact, central vision loss is the hallmark sign of age-related macular degeneration. Many people don’t get regular eye exams; therefore, AMD remains the leading cause of vision loss in adults over age 75. Don’t delay. If you need an eye doctor for macular degeneration in Fort Myers, come see us at Elmquist Eye Group. We help diagnose and manage eye conditions, so give us a call today.