Dry Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration

Your IALVS eye doctor can help with vision loss from dry AMD

Dry macular degeneration (AMD) is a common age-related eye condition that is a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. This condition causes thinning and damage to the macula (the center part of your retina), leading to blurry or reduced central vision.

If you have been diagnosed with dry AMD, an IALVS eye doctor will perform a detailed eye exam to determine precisely how much of your central field of vision has been damaged. Based on the results of your eye exam and your lifestyle requirements, we will match you with the most helpful low vision devices and rehabilitation strategies to enhance your eyesight and your quality of life.

How can vision rehabilitation and low vision aids help?

If you have vision loss as a result of dry AMD, it may become difficult to do many routine tasks that you are used to doing – such as cooking, reading, writing, and shopping. This is where your IALVS eye doctor can help! Our low vision assistance can make the most of your remaining eyesight, enabling you to do the things you want to do.

Some low vision aids that we may recommend and train you to use include:

  • Reading glasses with high-powered lenses
  • Specialized prescription glasses with prisms and/or tints to increase visual contrast
  • Bioptic telescope glasses to improve distance vision
  • Magnifiers, especially with built-in lights, can be helpful for close-up work; they are available in mounted and hand-held versions
  • CCTV magnifiers and other electronic devices to enlarge text and project it on a screen
  • Computerized software that converts typed text to voice and responds to voice commands
  • Safety lighting in the home; to minimize falls and help with reading

What are the symptoms of dry AMD?

Typically, the symptoms of dry macular degeneration develop slowly and painlessly. The most common symptoms include:

  • Distorted vision, with straight lines appearing bent and wavy
  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • A need for brighter lighting to read or do any close-up work
  • Trouble adapting to dim light conditions
  • Increased blurriness of text
  • Colors appear dulled
  • Recognizing faces is difficult

Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but it does not affect your side vision, so total blindness is rare. Over a long period of time, dry macular degeneration may progress to wet macular degeneration, which can be accompanied by sudden changes in your vision.

What causes dry AMD?

While the precise cause is unknown, research indicates that dry AMD may be associated with a combination of environmental and hereditary factors, such as family eye history, diet, and smoking.

How is dry macular degeneration diagnosed?

Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive, dilated eye exam to diagnose this ocular disease. Typically, patients with dry AMD have drusen, which are yellow deposits that form under the retina. In addition, your vision will be checked for defects in the central field. Other advanced tests may also be administered, such as OCT imaging scans.

Is there a treatment for dry macular degeneration?

Presently, there is no effective treatment for dry AMD. However, if your disease is detected at an early stage, you can take steps to slow the progression – such as not smoking, eating nutritiously, and taking eye health vitamin supplements.

How can an IALVS eye doctor help with AMD?

Our supportive IALVS eye doctors specialize in helping you find ways to manage with your changing vision. We will provide regular follow-up eye exams to monitor your vision and ensure that your prescription eyewear is ideal.

By matching your vision and lifestyle needs to the most effective low vision aids, either customized optics or the latest electronic devices, we will teach you how to optimize your eyesight and stay independent so you are able to enjoy life to its fullest.