Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration Q&A

Macular degeneration affects an estimated 11 million Americans and is a leading cause of vision loss. Board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon Sara Creekmore, DO, has extensive experience diagnosing and treating macular degeneration at Tampa Bay Eye and Facial Aesthetics in Lutz, Florida. If you think you have macular degeneration, call the office or request an appointment online today.

      What is macular degeneration?

      Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), also known as macular degeneration, is a common eye disease that causes a loss of central vision. Macular degeneration involves damage to your macula — the part of your retina that lets you see sharp details of objects straight ahead of you.

      Macular degeneration can cause your central vision to become blurry, and straight lines may appear wavy or distorted. Many people don’t realize they have macular degeneration until their vision gets extremely blurry.

      During routine exams at Tampa Bay Eye and Facial Aesthetics, Dr. Creekmore checks your eyes for early signs of disease before you have vision problems.

      Though macular degeneration doesn’t cause complete blindness, losing your central vision can make it harder to see faces, read, and complete daily activities like cooking. The condition is progressive, which means your vision worsens as your macula continues to deteriorate.

      What are the types of macular degeneration?

      The two types of macular degeneration are:

      Dry AMD

      Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of the disease, accounting for about 80% of cases. Also called atrophic AMD, this type occurs when tiny protein deposits called drusen develop under your macula. Dry AMD progresses gradually over several years.

      Wet AMD

      Wet macular degeneration is less common but far more serious. Also called advanced neovascular AMD, this type occurs when new blood vessels grow beneath your retina. If these vessels leak fluids, it can cause scarring.

      Wet AMD causes faster vision loss, but treatments are available. Dry AMD can turn into wet AMD at any stage of the disease.

      How is macular degeneration diagnosed and treated?

      To diagnose macular degeneration, Dr. Creekmore may have you look at an Amsler grid to see if you notice any blurry, distorted, or blank spots in your central vision. She also dilates your eyes to examine your retina and macula and may take tests like optical coherence tomography (OCT).

      Then, Dr. Creekmore creates an individualized treatment plan. Depending on the type and stage of your macular degeneration, treatment may include:

      • Eye-healthy foods like dark, leafy greens and fish

      • Nutritional supplements containing certain vitamins and minerals

      • Vision rehabilitation

      If you have wet AMD, Dr. Creekmore may recommend treatments to prevent further vision loss, such as anti-VEGF drugs she injects into your eye, and photodynamic therapy (PDT), which is a combination of injections and laser treatment.

      To find out if you have macular degeneration, call Tampa Bay Eye and Facial Aesthetics, or request an appointment online today.