Age-related macular degeneration is the technical term eye doctors use to refer to vision loss due to deterioration of, or damage to, the tissues that make up the backs of your eyes. True to its name, it is a condition that impacts the elderly, distorting and eventually destroying the sufferer’s ability to see. Macular degeneration also comes in two varieties, which are known as “wet” and “dry” macular degeneration for reasons you shall presently learn. Since our Long Island retinal doctors at Retina Consultants of Long Island believe an informed patient is a healthier patient, we’d like take a moment to explain some of the differences between the two.
The first species of macular degeneration treatment is called “wet” because its root cause is an excess of blood vessel growth in the back of the eye that leads to fluid leakage, scarring and permanent vision loss. Wet macular degeneration is relatively uncommon compared to dry macular degeneration, and there a number of treatment options available to you and our Long Island retinal doctors. On the other hand, dry macular degeneration is the result of specialized cells on your retina breaking down. While there is no cure for this type of macular degeneration, there are is some evidence that increased antioxidant intake may slow the disease’s progress. Maybe in the not-so-far-off future, science will have figured out how to use stem cells to repair damage done by dry macular degeneration. You can bet we’ll celebrating over here at Reina Consultants of Long Island when this happens.
In contrast to a skinned knee or a broken bone, which you feel right away, the early symptoms of macular degeneration (wet and dry both) are subtle and most often painless, making it hard for patients to realize there’s a problem for which they need to seek professional medical attention. This is why we here at Retina Consultants of Long Island are big advocates for regular exams. Sure, odds are we won’t find anything wrong when you come in for your routine check up, but if on the off chance you do have a problem, it’s much better for our Long Island retinal doctors to know sooner rather than later.