Macular Degeneration is a disorder that typically occurs in patients over age 50 and causes loss or distortion of central vision. This may affect both eyes, although one eye may be more severe than the other. There are two main types of macular degeneration. The “dry” form is most common and affects 80% of people with macular degeneration. There is currently no treatment for dry macular degeneration, but taking a combination of vitamins for the eye can help slow the progression of this disorder. It is important to be monitored by your eye doctor regularly if you have any type of macular degeneration, as the “dry” form can change to the “wet” form over time.
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Wet macular degeneration occurs when new or abnormal blood vessels grow in or under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or fluid and cause more rapid loss of vision and scarring in the retina. Fortunately, there are medications that can be used to treat wet macular degeneration. Your eye doctor will use special imaging techniques to help diagnose and monitor macular degeneration.
Diabetic Eye Disease or Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when abnormal blood sugar levels cause damage to the small blood vessels in the eye. The blood vessels can swell or leak, or they can be blocked entirely. Sometimes, new blood vessels grow where they should not be. All of these changes can damage your vision. It is important to have close monitoring to watch for possible changes in your eyes if you are diabetic. If these changes are detected in an early stage, it is much more likely that treatment can prevent vision loss than if the changes are found after vision is already affected. Diabetic eye disease can sometimes be treated with medications, laser or surgery. It is most important to work with your primary care provider to keep your blood sugar and blood pressure under good control to prevent damage to your eyes.
At Eye Consultants of Fargo, we can examine your eyes and use special imaging tests to evaluate you for conditions of the Retina, including Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. We perform medication injection treatments for these disorders. Sometimes patients need to be referred to a retina specialist for further treatment and we can help you coordinate that care if needed.