Macular Degeneration

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The ophthalmologists at Raleigh Eye Center treat eye diseases that are the most common causes of blindness, including age-related macular degeneration in Raleigh, NC. Age-related macular degeneration, known as AMD or ARMD, is a chronic disease that results in the deterioration of light call in the macula, which is the part of the retina that is responsible for clear central vision.

The risk of AMD in Raleigh is higher for those who:

  • Are above age 60
  • Smoke regularly
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Are obese
  • Have a lighter eye color
  • Are exposed to UV rays
  • Have a family history of AMD
  • Are white females

Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration (Non-Neovascular)

Dry macular degeneration is the more common form of AMD, affecting approximately 90% of people with this disease. When diagnosed, it’s usually an early or intermediate state of this progressive disease. Dry AMD results in the aging and thinning of the macula and/or depositing pigment in the macula.

As dry AMD progresses, symptoms include blurred central vision and/or a blind spot in central vision. This can make it difficult to perform many tasks such as driving and recognizing faces. Drusen, which are yellow deposits under the retina of various sizes, sometimes occur with dry AMD.

Dry AMD can turn into wet AMD at any time. Regular eye exams are an important step to early diagnosis of dry AMD in Raleigh. While there is currently no treatment available for early stage dry AMD, diet changes may help slow or prevent the progression to wet AMD. Diets rich in leafy, green vegetables, zinc, beta carotene (vitamin A), lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and E have been shown to help slow the progression of dry AMD.

Wet Macular Degeneration (Neovascular)

Wet macular degeneration is a more severe form of AMD and affects about 10% of people with AMD. Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels begin to grow under the macula. These fragile vessels can leak blood and fluid, causing the macula to swell and create further damage to macular cells.

Macular degeneration often begins without any symptoms, but symptoms of wet AMD often include seeing straight lines as wavy and noticing a blind spot in the central vision. If either symptom is detected, it is important that you contact your ophthalmologist for a dilated eye exam. By detecting and treating wet AMD early, it is possible to delay its progression.

Treatments for wet AMD in Raleigh often include:

  • Anti-angiogenic therapy, where doctors look to seal leaking blood vessels and prevent blood vessels from growing back
  • Medication, including Lucentis and Eylea
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT), a laser treatment
  • Laser surgery that destroys new blood vessels under the macula

Age-Related Macular Degeneration at Raleigh Eye Center

Our team of Raleigh, NC eye doctors know how to diagnose and treat AMD early. Request an appointment and schedule an eye exam by contacting us today.

Our vision care center provides treatment for macular degeneration in Raleigh, NC and to patients from Wake Forest, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary and Apex, NC.