A comprehensive dilated eye exam at Hester Eye Associates PC is a proactive way to detect vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We encourage you to get screened by our Kennesaw, GA optometrists, Dr. Hester and Dr. Lakhani, for early signs of AMD.
What is Macular Degeneration?
AMD is a common and progressive eye disease that mostly affects people over age 55. It is also the leading cause of vision loss in millions of Americans. The exact cause of AMD is unknown. However, the disease develops from deterioration and changes to the central portion of the retina called the macular. The macular controls central vision in the eye and helps you to read, recognize faces, distinguish colors, drive a car, and see fine details.
AMD can be dry or wet but dry AMD is far more common. AMD also occurs in stages: early, intermediate, and late. Early signs include the presence of tiny yellow deposits under the retina called drusens.
Age is the biggest risk factor for AMD. Other risk factors include family history, UV light exposure, poor nutrition, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and unchecked high blood pressure. Women and Caucasians have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Common Symptoms of AMD
Signs of impaired vision and vision loss occurring in the late stages include visual field defects, loss of clear color vision, and impaired depth perception. Some examples include:
- Light sensitivity
- Loss of central vision
- Dark or empty area in the center of your vision
- Dark adaptation
- Distorted vision, e.g., straight lines appear wavy or flat objects appear round
- Unable to properly judge distance
Macular Degeneration Eye Exam and Diagnosis Kennesaw, GA
Our optometrists perform several vision tests, including a dilated eye exam, to check for changes to the retina and macula. These changes such as drusen deposits and macular pigmentation are often present long before AMD symptoms are noticeable. We will test your depth perception, responsiveness to light, and color vision. Screening tests include a visual acuity exam using a letter chart and an Amsler grid exam. The following advanced diagnostic testings may be performed.
- Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA)
- Fundus Autofluorescence Imaging (AF)
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Macular Degeneration Treatment Options
If you are diagnosed with AMD, we will refer you to an ophthalmologist for further assessments and treatment. There is no cure for dry AMD. Available treatments help to improve eye health and slow degeneration of the macula and vision loss. They include eye health nutrition, vitamin supplements, quitting smoking, blue light protection, UV protection, and low vision aids such as special lenses. A telescope implant is an option available to patients with substantial vision loss. Meanwhile, early-stage wet AMD is currently treated with anti-VEGF injections.
Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam from Our Optometrists
Hester Eye Associates PC takes your vision seriously. Contact our Kennesaw, GA eye care center today. Call (770) 590-8191.