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What to Know About Macular Degeneration Provided by Our Richardson Optometrist

Our optometrist in Richardson, Texas, Dr. David R. Frazee takes a unique approach to eye care. He gives patients of all ages in the area a comprehensive level of care for eye diseases including macular degeneration treatment. He understands the condition thoroughly and treats it with compassion and a course of action customized to your condition. 

Woman getting tested for Macular Degeneration in Richardson, TX.

Definition of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that targets the macula. The macula is in the center of the retina and is responsible for your central vision. In most cases, patients don't experience blindness, especially with treatment and monitoring.

Cause of Macular Degeneration

In a majority of cases, the condition stems from age. It's most common in individuals who are 60 years or older. Genetics plays a role in the development of it and so does poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and poor nutrition. Currently, experts aren't exactly sure what causes dry macular degeneration. The wet form usually stems from an abnormal blood vessel. 

Types of Macular Degeneration

Two types of macular degeneration exist: wet and dry. With dry macular degeneration, the macula thins, usually as a result of age. Central vision may become blurry or reduced. Wet macular degeneration occurs when blood or fluid flow into the macula. 

Diagnosing Macular Degeneration

Our Richardson optometrist will use a visual acuity test to detect issues seeing at various distances. If we suspect a problem, our eye doctor may conduct a dilated eye exam, which consists of applying drops into your eyes in order to enhance the size of the pupils. This allows Dr. Frazee to get a view of your retina and optic nerve. An Amsler grid is a specialized test that evaluates your central vision using a lined grid. Our optometrist may use a fluorescein angiogram, which allows us to see the blood vessels in your eyes and how blood passes through them. Optic coherence tomography may be necessary in some cases to diagnose some eye diseases like macular degeneration. It utilizes light waves to get an image of the tissue in the eye. 

Treatment of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration treatment depends on the type of macular degeneration you have. In the early stages, we're unable to treat the condition since you might not even know you have it. It doesn't cause symptoms initially. We will conduct a dilated eye examination a minimum of once per year to monitor it, so we can treat it as soon as possible. 

Once it reaches the intermediate and advanced states, we will begin vitamin and mineral supplementation to slow the progression. We may use bevacizumab to prevent the growth signals from stimulating the production of new blood vessels. An injection of vascular endothelial growth factor can slow the progression. For those who have wet macular degeneration, photodynamic therapy may be necessary. This laser treatment closes off new blood vessels and decreases how quickly they grow. 

Contact Our Local Richardson Optometrist for More Information Today!

If you suspect you have macular degeneration or already know you have it, our Richardson optometrist can help. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Frazee today by contacting us at 972-669-4141.