Macular Degeneration Fort Myers
Vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration is a growing problem. Schedule an evaluation with Elmquist Eye Group so that we can help stop the damage to the retina.
E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, his partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and his associates Nina Burt, OD and Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD, provide a wide variety of eye care services, from routine eye exams for corrective lenses to bladeless laser-assisted cataract surgery, LASIK laser vision correction, and glaucoma laser surgery.
Dr. Elmquist and Dr. Brown are board certified ophthalmologists and fellows of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Wagner and Dr. Burt are board certified optometrists.
At Elmquist Eye Group, we take a personal interest in every patient, skillfully diagnosing and treating a wide range of eye conditions that affect everyone from children to seniors.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, also called AMD, affects the macula — the central area of the retina that is responsible for sharp, central and color vision. The retina, a membrane that lines the back of the eye, is responsible for capturing and transmitting images to the brain. Macular degeneration causes you to lose the ability to see objects in the center of your field of view. Peripheral vision is not affected.
The Types of Macular Degeneration
- Dry AMD – Nearly 90% of individuals with AMD have the dry form of the condition, and all patients with wet AMD had the dry form first. Scientists are still unsure about what causes it, but research suggests that part of the retina becomes diseased, which leads to the slow breakdown of the macular cells and a gradual loss of central vision.
- Wet AMD – Wet AMD is less common than Dry AMD, but is responsible for the more serious vision loss. Wet AMD occurs when new blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak blood and fluid under the macula. This causes permanent damage to the macula and can result in blind spots in your central vision.
Who Gets Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is considered part of the aging process. It is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older. As many as 11 million people in the U.S. have some form of AMD. This number is expected to double by 2050 to nearly 22 million people.
In addition to age, other risk factors include a family history of macular degeneration, smoking, injury, obesity, inflammation and extreme nearsightedness. In addition, Caucasians are at higher risk for macular degeneration than other races.
How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
Unfortunately, there is no way to restore vision that has been lost as a result of Dry AMD. However, your ophthalmologist will want to monitor your condition because it can turn into Wet AMD. In its early stages, Wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery. Vision aids such as magnifying devices, closed-circuit television, large-print reading materials and special lighting can help you cope with visual impairments caused by macular degeneration.
To find out more about macular degeneration in Fort Myers, get in touch with Elmquist Eye Group at (239) 936-2020 to schedule an appointment.