Unlike some diseases which are caused by a specific trauma or other underlying illness, age-related macular degeneration (or AMD) is a natural byproduct of aging which affects a large percentage of Americans.
By employing the latest in cutting-edge diagnostic equipment during your annual eye health exam, we can spot the disease early, allowing you the maximum chance to retain your vision and, accordingly, maintain your quality of life.
AMD presents without any pain or observable symptoms, and can cause blindness if untreated. Book an appointment today and let’s stay on top of your ocular health.
AMD is a progressive illness which degrades central vision, reducing our ability to perceive objects clearly and sharply in our direct line of sight. This occurs because the macula – the part of the retina responsible for our central vision – is directly targeted by the disease.
Diagnosis comes in two stages. In the first, we examine your retina and inner eye to look for signs of damage indicative of AMD; afterwards, we assess the quality of your vision (aka your visual acuity) to see if your central vision is consistent with the diagnosis.
Advanced imaging techniques like ocular coherence tomography and fluorescein angiography allow us to physically examine the surface and surrounding of the retina/macula. Any weakened blood vessels in the eye shall be highlighted, and their severity will indicate disease progression.
In terms of visual acuity, there are simple tests which highlight any distorted, blurry or dark spots in your eyesight. The most common is an Amsler Grid, which is totally pain-free and non-invasive.
The combined components of the assessment will not only confirm a diagnosis, but also categorize its severity and type. AMD comes in two different forms, each with varying levels of acuteness.
As with glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, there is no cure for AMD. However, there may be treatments options which can stem disease progression, thereby maximizing retention of vision. In addition, you may benefit from certain technological aids designed to help those with low vision manage tasks like reading or watching TV.
AMD can change your prescription needs. If your prescription has changed, we can help; our on-site optical lab can produce your lenses in as little as one hour.
Dry AMD – Also known as atrophic AMD, this is the less-severe form of the illness. As the eye ages, you may develop a buildup of small, harmless proteins known as drusen. These float around inside the eye, casting shadows on the retina which we perceive as small, wriggling shapes on top of our normal vision.
Moderate to severe dry AMD involves an increased number or size of drusen, but also damage to the macula itself. This causes a blurred spot in your central vision which can be anything from mildly irritating to completely debilitating.
Wet AMD – The tender tissue inside the retina can weaken and rupture, spilling blood into the eyeball and potentially scarring the macula. Any scarring will severely affect your vision and will be permanent. Such symptoms can escalate rapidly, so you should book an appointment if you notice any problems with your central vision.
We are conveniently located at the corner of Peachtree Parkway and South Clement Rd, at the entrance to Creekstone Estates, in the Villages at CreekStone (near the intersection of HWY 141 and Old Alpharetta Rd).