Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration Specialist
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in older Americans. While it doesn’t cause complete blindness, its impact on central vision significantly interferes with everyday tasks like driving and reading. Dr. Perry Mollick and Dr. Andrew Greenberg at Mollick Professional Center encourage you to get annual eye exams, so they can identify macular degeneration in its early stages before you have symptoms. Call their office in Levittown, New York, or schedule an appointment online for macular degeneration screening.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

Mollick Professional Center

What is macular degeneration?

As its name suggests, macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a deterioration of the macula. Macular degeneration occurs very gradually in some people, while it progresses quickly in others.

The macula is a small area of the retina that controls visual acuity, or the sharpness of your vision. It’s responsible for seeing objects that are straight in front of you, so when it’s damaged, your ability to read, write, drive, or do close-up work is affected.

What are the stages of macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration proceeds through progressive stages based on changes in the retina. In the first two stages, you probably won’t have symptoms and the ongoing deterioration is only detected during a comprehensive eye exam.

In late-stage AMD, you’ll begin to experience vision loss. There are two types of late AMD:

Dry macular degeneration

The most common form of AMD, dry macular degeneration occurs as macular tissues thin due to aging, and cells responsible for sending visual information to the brain begin to break down. Dry macular degeneration progresses slowly.

Wet macular degeneration

This type of AMD develops when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina. The vessels leak fluid and blood, which causes swelling and permanent macular damage. Wet macular degeneration may develop gradually or rapidly.

What symptoms will you experience from macular degeneration?

Dry and wet macular degeneration cause symptoms such as:

  • Distorted vision
  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • Decreased brightness of colors
  • Loss of clear color vision
  • Need for brighter light when doing close work
  • Difficulty adapting to low light levels
  • Blurriness of printed words
  • Difficulty recognizing faces

How is macular degeneration treated?

Treatment depends on the stage and type of macular degeneration. While there currently aren’t any medical treatments for dry macular degeneration, your doctor at Mollick Professional Center may recommend nutritional supplements to help prevent it from degenerating into the wet form.

If your AMD has progressed to the wet form, treatment options include:  

  • Medications injected into the eye to stop abnormal blood vessel growth
  • Visudyne injected into your arm then activated in the eye with photodynamic therapy
  • Laser coagulation to destroy or seal new blood vessels
  • Implantable telescope for end-stage AMD, a tiny implant that magnifies images to improve central vision