Macular Degeneration Specialist

Comprehensive Ophthalmology located in Libertyville, IL

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Macular Degeneration

Older people often develop macular degeneration because of the effects of aging. If you’re seeing darkness or blurring in your central vision, North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians can diagnose your condition at their offices in Libertyville, Illinois. The board-certified eye doctors also offer the most effective treatments for macular degeneration to prevent your sight from getting worse. Call North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians today or book an appointment online for expert treatment of macular degeneration.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration involves damage to the macula. The macula is at the back of your eye, enabling you to see fine details. If your macula isn’t functioning correctly, your central vision will be dark or blurred.

Macular degeneration can make reading difficult or impossible, and it also affects your distance vision. For instance, you might be able to see the edges of a clock on the wall but be unable to tell the time as the clock’s face is dark or blurred.

Macular degeneration can be barely noticeable in the early stages. Sometimes it only affects one eye while the other one retains good vision. But if both eyes are affected, you’re likely to notice the loss of central vision more quickly.

Are there different kinds of macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration can be dry (atrophic) or wet (exudative):

Dry macular degeneration

Most people have dry macular degeneration. It’s caused by thinning of the macula tissues as you age, and vision loss tends to be gradual.

Wet macular degeneration

About 10% of cases are wet macular degeneration. It’s caused by abnormal blood vessels forming at the back of your eye, and these blood vessels leak, blurring your central vision. Sight loss can be rapid and severe.

How is macular degeneration diagnosed?

At North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians, your eye doctor identifies macular degeneration during your routine eye exam. They view the macula using an instrument called an ophthalmoscope that allows them to see the macula in detail. They might ask you to do a simple vision test as well.

Sometimes your eye doctor takes photographs (called angiograms) of the eye. They inject a dye into your arm that travels up to your eye to make the blood vessels stand out. Then they take pictures of the eye that they examine for the presence of abnormal blood vessels under your retina.

How is macular degeneration treated?

There’s no way to cure dry macular degeneration, but some doctors recommend specific nutritional supplements to slow its progress. Treatment generally focuses on helping you find ways to manage your impaired vision.

Early stages of wet macular degeneration can sometimes respond to laser surgery. The laser uses a highly focused light beam to seal leaking blood vessels. It’s a brief and usually painless outpatient procedure.

North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians prescribes devices that help with sight loss. They can also refer you to a low-vision specialist. A wide range of support services is available to help you live a fulfilling life with macular degeneration.

If you notice signs of macular degeneration or you haven’t had an eye exam in a while, call North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians today or book an appointment online.