Berkeley Heights Eye Group
Ophthalmologists located in New Providence, NJ
Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss for Americans. At Berkeley Heights Eye Group in New Providence, New Jersey, ophthalmologist Todd Leventhal, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating the condition using the latest technology and treatment strategies to prevent further vision loss. If you have symptoms of macular degeneration, don’t hesitate to call the Berkeley Heights Eye Group or schedule an appointment online today.
Macular Degeneration Q&A
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss and blindness that develops when the central part of your retina, called the macula, deteriorates. Your retina is the layer of tissue on the back part of the inside of your eye that absorbs light and sends signals to your brain, allowing you to see. If you have macular degeneration, you slowly lose your vision starting in the center. For a long time, you might retain your peripheral vision.
There are two types of macular degeneration that Dr. Leventhal diagnoses and treats. He can determine if you have:
Dry macular degeneration
About 80% of macular degeneration cases are of the dry variety. If you have dry macular degeneration, your macula gets thinner with age and develops clumps of a protein called drusen.
Wet macular degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is less common than dry macular degeneration. It causes new blood vessels to form under your retina, which may leak and cause further damage to your macula. It also causes faster vision decline than macular degeneration.
Am I at risk for macular degeneration?
There are several lifestyle factors and genetic predispositions that can put you at a higher risk of developing macular degeneration as you age. You’re at a higher-than-average likelihood of getting macular degeneration if you:
- Eat lots of saturated fat (butter, cheese, meat)
- Are overweight or obese
- Have high blood pressure
- Are 50 or older
- Have family members with macular degeneration
Dr. Leventhal can help you explore your risk factors and make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk.
How is macular degeneration treated?
Unfortunately, there is currently not a cure available for dry macular degeneration. However, with diligent treatment, you can slow its progression. Dr. Leventhal might recommend taking vitamin supplements, like vitamin C and vitamin E, to promote better eye health and avoid losing your vision entirely. He might also suggest lifestyle changes like avoiding cigarettes and adjusting your diet to include more vegetables, leafy greens, and fish.
If you have wet macular degeneration, your treatment options are less limited. While your eyes can still benefit from a healthy diet and lifestyle, Dr. Leventhal might recommend one of the following treatments for your condition:
Certain medications called anti-VEGF drugs help to reduce the number of blood vessels around your retina. They also slow the bleeding. Dr. Leventhal uses a very fine needle to inject the drugs into your eye.
Dr. Leventhal might recommend laser surgery to reduce your retinal blood vessels and slow their bleeding if you have wet macular degeneration.
If you notice a change in your vision, call Berkeley Heights Eye Group for a macular degeneration evaluation or schedule an appointment online today.