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The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a term that refers to a group of disorders that affect the central portion of the retina, and therefore— the center of the field of vision. This disease tends to occur among patients over the age of 65 and is the most common cause of legal blindness in the developed world.

“Age-related macular degeneration” (AMD) refers to the late-onset form of macular degeneration. It is highly prevalent, with as many as 10% of patients above the age of 65 affected in some way or another. Severe visual loss, however, is much less common and affects approximately 1% of the demographic.

If you experience a gradual or sudden change in the quality of your vision or notice that straight lines appear distorted, contact the Dr. Jim Gillispie immediately.

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What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular Degeneration is an eye disease that occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. The macula has a number of special structural features that allow images focused on it to be seen with very high resolution.

When the macula is damaged, this ability is affected—resulting in a loss of central vision.

What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration most commonly occurs in adults aged 65 and older. Some of the common signs and symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Straight lines appearing distorted
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • Inability to engage in activities such as watching TV, sports, reading, or driving
  • Loss of central vision, which continues to deteriorate over time (although side vision usually remains intact)
  • Loss of color vision in the later stages
  • Vision difficulties in low light conditions

What Are the Causes of Macular Degeneration?

The notable causes of macular degeneration are:

  • Age: this is the biggest risk factor for macular degeneration
  • Environment
  • Genetics: people with a family history of the condition
  • Poor nutrition
  • Race: macular degeneration is more prevalent among Caucasians when compared to Hispanics, Latinos, or African Americans
  • Smoking

How Does One Manage Macular Degeneration? Is There A Cure?

For now, no known cure for macular degeneration exists. However, there are certain lifestyle changes that can help manage the condition or slow down its progression. This includes a healthy diet, smoking cessation, and regular exercise. Patients should also protect their eyes from direct sunlight exposure or UV rays by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses.

We understand that the severity of macular degeneration varies among patients. Dr. Jim Gillispie will therefore provide custom-made glasses and vision aids just for you, which will enable you to enjoy an independent and higher standard of living.

How Can We Help?

Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy patient reading newspaper 640×427At Low Vision of Tennessee, we’re committed to changing the lives of our patients with macular degeneration by providing them with effective tools to live well. Our goal is to help them get back to doing the things they enjoy every day.

To do that, we offer macular degeneration patients with various low vision aids and glasses that can help enhance and optimize their remaining vision. These personalized vision aids include bioptic telescopic glasses, low vision magnifying reading glasses, and other customized, prescription binoculars or telescopes. This enables patients to live a quality life and continue doing the everyday activities that they enjoy.

Contact Us Today

If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, there is still hope for you. Contact us today at Low Vision of Tennessee, and Dr. Jim Gillispie will carry out a comprehensive eye exam to determine your eye condition and discuss your options. If you are diagnosed with macular degeneration, we will provide you with personalized low vision glasses and other aids to help you make the most of your remaining vision.

Low Vision of Tennessee serves patients in Nashville,Lebanon, Kentucky and Georgia, throughout Tennessee.

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