Macular Degeneration Specialist

Primary Eyecare Associates

Optometrists located in Sterling Heights, MI

Over 10 million Americans experience vision decline or loss from macular degeneration, a leading cause of age-related vision loss. At Primary Eyecare Associates in Troy, Michigan, the experienced optometrists conduct regular eye exams to check for signs of macular degeneration and provide personalized treatment plans for the condition. To preserve your vision and prevent vision decline from macular degeneration, call Primary Eyecare Associates, or book an appointment online today.

Macular Degeneration Q&A

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision decline. It develops when the central part of your retina, the region in the back of your eye that detects light, deteriorates. This part of your retina is called the macula and allows you to focus your eye and see objects, faces, and text in sharp detail.

There are two main types of macular degeneration:

Dry macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration is the most common. While the cause is unclear, it results in the development of tiny white and yellow deposits called drusen on your retina.

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is less common, as it occurs after developing dry macular degeneration, and is more likely to cause severe vision loss. It happens when abnormal blood vessels grow from your retina and leak blood and fluid. This process can cause your macula to break away from its base and cause rapid vision decline. 

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

The symptoms you experience from macular degeneration depend on the stage of your condition. In the early stages, you likely won’t notice a decline in your vision. A comprehensive eye exam at Primary Eyecare Associates can detect both types of macular degeneration. Your optometrist then starts treatment early if they find drusen or another side effect during the exam.

Intermediate stages of macular degeneration might result in some vision decline. You might notice a difference in your visual acuity, or you might not. That’s why regular eye exams are crucial. 

Late stages of macular degeneration result in noticeable vision loss. You should seek treatment right away to find out if you have macular degeneration and preserve the vision you still have. 

If your optometrist suspects macular degeneration, they might perform tests like fundoscopy, an illuminated, magnified exam of your optic nerve and retina. They might also take images during this time (fundus photography) or a graph test called the Amsler grid. 

Am I at risk of getting macular degeneration?

Anyone can develop macular degeneration with age. You’re at risk of developing the condition and should monitor your eye health closely with regular exams if you:

  • Are over age 55
  • Have family members with macular degeneration
  • Smoke
  • Are obese
  • Have high blood pressure or heart disease

Your optometrist at Primary Eyecare Associates can recommend various nutritional supplements to lower your risk or prevent your condition from worsening if you already have it. 

How is macular degeneration treated?

While macular degeneration currently doesn’t have a cure, you can retain your vision by living a healthy lifestyle and improving your nutrition. Your optometrist at Primary Eyecare Associates may recommend consuming a diet high in antioxidants and taking certain nutritional supplements like zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, to preserve your eye health. 

For wet macular degeneration, your optometrist might refer you to an ophthalmologist for laser photocoagulation or anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections to reduce blood vessel growth in your eyes.

If you notice a decline in your vision, have concerns about your eye health because of your age or family history or need expert macular degeneration treatment, call Primary Eyecare Associates, or book a comprehensive evaluation online today.