Macular Degeneration

South Jersey Vision Center

Eye Center located in Barrington, NJ

Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the center of the visual field. Eye care specialists Joseph Kamerling, MD and Paul Speesler, OD with South Jersey Vision Center in Barrington, New Jersey screen patients for this progressive disease and look for risk factors. Early treatment and lifestyle changes like quitting smoking can slow it down, allowing the patient to extend their vision's quality. The staff also provides education about the disease to help prevent it for patients at risk.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is Macular Degeneration?

Sometimes called age-related macular degeneration, this is a condition that blurs or eliminates your ability to see things in the center of vision. Macular degeneration refers to damage to the macula, a segment of the retina that controls the direct line of sight, so anything in the center of the field of vision.

Imagine having something blocking what you want to see right in the middle. No matter how you move, that blockage is there. That’s how this disease affects patients.

Are There Different Types of Macular Degeneration?

There are two kinds of macular degeneration: dry and wet.

  1. Dry Macular Degeneration: Dry macular degeneration commonly occurs in people over the age of 65, leading to a reduction in their central vision. This condition indicates a thinning of the macula that can affect one or both eyes and gets progressively worse over time.
  2. Wet Macular Degeneration: Wet macular degeneration is less common but more severe than the dry kind. With wet macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessels leak fluid into the macula.

Early detection is vital in both types of macular degeneration. With the wet format, though, catching the disease in the early stages offers the best chance of recovering some of that central vision. With the dry type, early detect simply slows the progression.

What Causes Macular Degeneration?

The exact cause of both dry and wet macular degeneration is unknown. There are, however; risk factors to consider for both such as:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Cardiovascular disease

Dry macular degeneration typically affects white people more than any other race, as well. Most of the risk factors are preventable, too, which is why patient education is so important. The staff at South Jersey Vision Center recommend that patients:

  • Have regular eye exams
  • Manage any chronic medical problem such as cardiovascular disease
  • No smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat lots of fruits, green leafy vegetables, fish

Left untreated, both kinds of macular degeneration can leave the patient with little to no central vision.

How is Macular Degeneration Detected?

The eye specialists at South Jersey Vision Center will examine the back of your eye, the retina, through a dialated exam. The doctors may also test for defects in the patient's central vision.

If macular degeneration is suspected, they may order more advanced tests.

If you’re worried about macular degeneration, don’t take any chances: call or click today to schedule your appointment at South Jersey Vision Center.