Macular degeneration is an age-related disease of the eye involving the deterioration of the macula — the central part of the retina that lines the eye’s back wall and helps you to see fine details. Symptoms appear gradually, starting with blurring or difficulty seeing in dim light
There are two types of macular degeneration – wet and dry.
Dry Macular Degeneration
- More common type, affecting 90% of people with macular degeneration
- Causes central vision loss or a blind spot in the middle of the eye
- Total blindness is not associated with this condition
- May not affect both eyes
- Caused by fatty deposits in the eye, called drusen
- Amount of deposits determines early, intermediate or advanced stages
Wet Macular Degeneration
- Starts out as the dry type
- Marked by leaky blood vessels in the back of the eye causing swelling
- Causes central vision loss
- More severe than the dry type
Doctors Who Treat Macular Degeneration
Ophthalmologists: Medical doctors specializing in eye health. Ophthalmologists examine the eye, perform surgical procedures and prescribe drugs and contact lenses.
Optometrists: Trained in optometry schools, these doctors specialize in eye health. Optometrists give eye exams, measure for contact lenses and make suggestions for visual aids when needed.
Retina Doctors: Medical doctors specializing in diseases of the retina and macula. Once macular degeneration is detected, a referral is usually given to consult with a retina doctor.