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Treating Macular Degeneration

Untreated macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 65 years old.

While researchers have not yet discovered a cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are treatment options which prevent the disease from progressing to blindness, and in some cases, they can even improve vision. It’s important to have an open discussion with your eye doctor about the risks and limitations of AMD treatments.

Types of Macular Degeneration:

There are 2 basic types of AMD, the wet form and the dry form.

  • Dry macular degeneration is considered the less aggressive form of AMD. It typically progresses much more slowly, and the level of eyesight damage is less severe. Dry AMD is detected during routine eye exams, which is why it’s important to have yearly testing. Treating Dry AMD often involves high doses of zinc and antioxidants which have been shown to slow diseases progression.
  • Wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of AMD. It occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), and leakage, which can cause scar tissue to develop. Treatments include laser surgery, injecting light sensitive dyes, or AMD medication injected directly into the eye to inhibit angiogenesis.

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AMD is an age related eye disease that runs in families, and is a leading cause of blindness in our aging population. There is no cure for this ocular disease, and AMD related vision loss is cannot usually be recovered. There are treatments, and preventative measures that can be taken, if detected early, so routine eye exams are essential.
Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!

M&S Contrast Sensitivity Testing Pad

Family Eye Center Optometry is proud to offer a contrast sensitivity pad to test for macular degeneration.

Contrast sensitivity is your ability to distinguish the foreground from the background and to distinguish between finer and finer increments of light versus dark. This differs from visual acuity testing in a routine exam which measures your ability to recognize smaller and smaller letters on a standard eye chart.

Contrast sensitivity is an important measure of visual function, especially in situations of low light, fog or glare, when the contrast between objects and their background often is reduced. Driving at night is an example of an activity that requires good contrast sensitivity for safety. Contrast sensitivity is a much more sensitive measure of real-world vision. Even if you have20/20 visual acuity, research shows up to 6 times greater risk of driving accidents when contrast sensitivity is low.

M&S has developed a quick and accurate letter contrast sensitivity protocol using a single sloan letter otpotype. The protocol begins at 20% contrast and the doctor will increase or decrease the contrast percentage according to the patients’ responses. The thecontrast level will immediately appear on the Smart System® Tablet screen. Contrast sensitivity has been a part ofM&S software for over 20 years. No other technology offers more science, peer reviews, or validations than the SmartSystem 2020. M&S prides itself in offering vision testing systems, calibrated to ANSI and ISO specficiations.

Diabetes and vision go hand in hand. If you have diabetes, you need to know that having this systemic disease puts you at greater risk for developing vision problems.


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