Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss. The condition affects more than 10 million Americans and needs to be managed effectively to slow down its progression. At Whitlow Family Vision Centers in Glasgow and Edmonton, Kentucky, Dr. Robert N. Whitlow and Dr. Cheryl G. Whitlow offer advanced diagnostics to identify early signs of macular degeneration. They also work with you to prevent vision loss, creating a customized treatment plan to manage your condition effectively. To learn more about macular degeneration, schedule a consultation online or by calling the office.
Macular Degeneration Q & A
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a chronic deterioration of the central part of your retina.
The retina is responsible for recording the objects you see and sending signals to the brain through the optic nerve. The central part of the retina is known as the macula; its job is to focus your vision and make it possible for you to drive, read a book, and recognize colors and objects.
As the macula deteriorates, you can't see clearly. Your vision remains unchanged in the early stages, but the progression of this condition causes your vision to worsen gradually until your central vision is gone.
Who is at risk for macular degeneration?
The biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration is your age. The condition typically affects people over the age of 55. The older you are, the more your risk increases.
Other risk factors for developing macular degeneration include your family history and your race. Caucasians are at higher risk for developing macular degeneration than other ethnicities. If you smoke cigarettes, your risk for developing macular degeneration doubles.
What treatments are available for macular degeneration?
There's no cure for macular degeneration. However, with Dr. Whitlow’s guidance, you can make changes that slow the progression of the condition.
Changes may include lifestyle adjustments to your diet, incorporating more healthy, fresh foods into your daily life. You should also quit smoking and try to be more physically active. Protecting your eyes from the ultraviolet light of the sun is also essential for your overall eye health.
In some cases, laser therapies can help prevent progressive vision loss if you’re in the later stages of macular degeneration. However, even with treatment, the condition may continue to progress.
What if I have vision loss?
Dealing with gradual vision loss can be frustrating and traumatic. Having the support of the staff at Whitlow Family Vision Centers is the first step in learning to adapt to your low vision needs. Dr. Whitlow can create a custom vision therapy plan to make the most of the vision you still have and improve the quality of your life.
To learn more about managing a macular degeneration diagnosis, schedule an appointment online or by phone.