Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration Treatment from Your Optometrist in Austin, TX

An age-related macular degeneration (AMD) diagnosis sometimes comes as a surprise to patients.  This is because the signs of this disorder often appear only at an advanced stage.  Our Austin optometrist advises that regular exams at our Austin Vision Center are essential for AMD patients and those deemed at risk for this condition.

woman receiving an eye exam from her optometrist

What is Macular Degeneration?

As baby boomers age, mention of macular degeneration is increasing.  It is the top cause of severe vision loss among those past 50.  The number of Americans with this condition could reach 1.8 million. 

AMD develops as the result of changes in the macula, a small section of the central portion of the retina.  This unpreventable condition progressively robs patients of their central vision but leaves peripheral vision intact.  Once a central vision loss occurs, it is impossible to reverse it.  Individuals lose the ability to see fine details or clearly perceive colors.

Our eye doctor describes two forms of AMD:  dry and wet.  While wet AMD always progresses from the dry form, not all dry AMD patients develop the wet type.

Researchers have no found a specific cause of AMD.  With the dry type, cells in the macula lack the ability to get rid of ocular waste.  In wet AMD patients, rods and cones break down because undesirable blood vessels form under the macula.


Symptoms of dry AMD typically develop gradually and usually affect both eyes:

  • Reduced central vision
  • Bent appearance of straight lines
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • Necessity of brighter light to perform close work
  • Increasing print blurriness
  • Perception of lowered color intensity or brightness
  • Difficulty adjusting to dimly lit rooms or other lower light levels

These are signs of wet AMD:

  • Visual distortion that makes straight lines look bent
  • Rapid beginning or worsening of symptoms
  • Overall vision haziness
  • Reduction in central vision
  • Perception of lowered color brightness or intensity
  • Blind or blurry spot in the center of vision

How We Treat AMD

Macular degeneration diagnosis requires a comprehensive vision exam.  For some dry AMD patients, dietary changes and use of nutritional supplements slow vision loss.

With an early diagnosis, laser treatment can minimize wet AMD vision loss.  Other therapies include injecting medication into the eye and laser activation of medication previously injected into the patient’s bloodstream.

Schedule an Exam with Our Austin Optometrist

The best AMD outcome occurs after early diagnosis and continued monitoring by our Austin optometrist.  Comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis are important for diagnosing this condition.  Be sure to call our Austin Vision Center today to schedule your next exam at the location convenient for you:  Central at 512-477-2282 or West at 512-258-2282. 

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