Macular Degeneration — AMD symptoms

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Macular Degeneration and the Use of Glasses with Telescopes

Macular Degeneration and the Use of Glasses with Telescopes 0

Macular Degeneration and the Use of Glasses with Telescopes 

Use of Glasses with Telescopes

The process of adjusting to the effects of macular degeneration can be a frustrating one. People with glasses often have a difficult time adapting to their constantly worsening eye conditions because their glasses do not function as well as they used to. Since the macula itself is damaged, the image that people with macular degeneration see is going to be blurry no matter how many times they update their eyeglass prescription. Standard eyeglass lenses are simply constructed with the purpose of focusing light onto the retina, which does not resolve the issue of a deteriorating retina.

The Advantages of Telescopic Lenses

One way to maneuver around the vision problems of macular degeneration is to enhance the type of lens used. Scientists have used the age-old concepts of binoculars and telescopes to help people see better by enlarging the size of what they see. People have been using this technique to aid their ability to see objects that are far away and to see miniscule things more clearly.

Eye doctors have decided to try considering this idea in the context of macular degeneration and other eye diseases in order to facilitate image visualization. Just as people have used telescopic lenses to see fine details, people may now use telescopic glasses to assist their low vision and be able to see far away objects much better than before. People with macular degeneration can utilize telescopic glasses to improve the visual aspect of watching sports and plays, as well as looking at the small font of computer screens, books, and other important documents. Telescopic lenses can even be used to assist in driving!

Telescopic glasses are made up of a tiny telescope mounted inside the lenses of eyeglasses. They are between half an inch to three inches thick. Larger sizes generally indicate increased power. An excellent quality is that the telescope can be incorporated into the normal glasses prescription and adjusted according to daily needs. Adding telescopes to glasses can improve vision at normal distances and can even help people see things far away in just the way binoculars can.

Another benefit of adding telescopic lenses to glasses is that they can legally be used for driving in most places. After a specialized exam and training, people with macular degeneration can use glasses with telescopes to drive around like before. Being able to see clearly is a basic physical necessity that plays a significant role in daily living and social interactions. In that sense, telescopic lenses can help to improve the quality of life for people facing eye complications.  

The Disadvantages of Telescopic Lenses

The gaping disadvantage of using telescopic glasses is their physical appearance. Unlike standard prescription glasses that use a single lens, telescopic glasses demand several lenses to be mounted just over the eye. People with low vision usually only need one telescope mounted in order to improve vision. In addition, there are different sizes and types of telescopes needed depending on the extent of eye deterioration. Some lenses increase magnification, while others are used to widen the field of view. Have you ever been prescribed a telescope for distance or near viewing?

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Heyedrate, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler

Macular Degeneration or Macular Hole? What’s the Difference?

Macular Degeneration or Macular Hole? What’s the Difference? 0

Macular Degeneration or Macular Hole? What’s the Difference?

Many people each year go blind or have severely impaired vision as a result of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease, mostly associated with age, that affects millions of Americans each year. In fact, it’s the leading cause of vision loss for senior citizens in America.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration occurs in the macula, the region at the center of the eye’s retina. It’s the part of the eye that responds most readily to light and allows the eye to focus precisely on small regions, such as the print on a book or the pixels on a phone screen. The pigmentary cells in the macula deteriorate and break apart, leading to the buildup of a substance called drusen in the eye which impedes clear vision. Because the macula is closely associated with precise focus, you may still be able to see quite well on the periphery even as the macula breaks down.

Macular degeneration is simply the progressive breakdown of the macula over time, stemming from this “clogging” effect as drusen builds up within the eye. In contrast, macular hole is a more distinct problem. As the name implies, it is literally a hole that develops in the macula. It can begin as the result of trauma or disease, but like macular degeneration — it generally begins simply as the result of aging.

An explanation of Macular Holes

Unlike macular degeneration, which starts in the macula, a macular hole actually begins in the vitreous body, which is the “jelly” that fills your eye. As you age, the vitreous body naturally contracts over time, stressing the fibers that connect it to the retina. In addition, these miniscule fibers can break down, allowing the vitreous to move more than it should.  The combination of vitreous shrinkage and degradation of the connective fibers can actually pull the vitreous body far enough away from the macula to create a small tear in the macula itself. This tear typically develops first into a macular cyst and then, if left untreated, progresses to a macular hole.

A small fraction of macular holes will actually heal themselves; for the rest, treatment typically involves a surgery called vitrectomy. In this procedure, the vitreous body is actually severed from the eye and replaced with an artificial vitreous “bubble.” This bubble presses against the macula, sealing the macular hole and enabling it to heal. As the macula heals, the eye’s cavity will refill itself with fluid and the bubble will naturally be absorbed by the eye. This process will require the patient to lie face-down for anywhere from two days to three weeks. Yikes! As you can tell, this is an extensive procedure and will only be performed if vision loss is severe. Because this is a progressive problem that can lead to serious vision impairment or loss, it’s important to discuss any vision issues quickly with your doctor if you suspect you may be developing a macular hole.

Have you ever experienced a macular hole? What did you notice?


One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration 0

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration


Symptoms of degrading vision often build slowly and go unnoticed for a long period of  time until they reach a degree of severity that may no longer be ignored. One may notice that he or she now needs glasses to read the text of a favorite book or magazine. Headaches grow more frequent - the result of constantly strained eye muscles. Once bright and vibrant colors may even take on more dull and muted hues.

While many conditions may result in impaired vision, wet macular degeneration is one of the most common culprits. According to AMD.org, when one is afflicted with this form of macular degeneration the membrane beneath the retina thickens and eventually breaks, disrupting the supply of critical oxygen to the macula. In response to this assault, the body forms new, abnormal blood vessels which grow up from beneath the retina toward the macula. These new blood vessels are quite delicate and are prone to leaking, which leads to scarring of the macula. This causes damage to both the retina and macula and often results in a rapid degradation of vision that, once lost, cannot be restored.

As is often the case with illness, catching wet macular degeneration early is key so one may take action to minimize its negative effects. While the condition is fairly serious, there exist several treatment options that can be highly effective if applied early. Following are a few telltale signs of wet macular degeneration.

  • Slightly blurred vision
  • Visual distortions in which straight lines may appear curved or crooked
  • Blind spots that most often appear in the middle of the visual field and that grow larger if left untreated
  • Hallucinations that involve seeing objects, animals, or people that aren’t actually present

Along with watching for symptoms, it is also important to know the risk factors for wet macular degeneration. Taking steps to reduce these risk factors is a critical step to take along the path of risk reduction. Additional risk factors for developing this condition include:

AMD Macular Degeneration   AMD Macular Degeneration

Knowledge is power. With an increased awareness of both symptoms and risk factors, one can detect and guard against the development of wet macular degeneration before it has a chance to threaten his or her vision. Additionally, eliminating the additional risk factors for this condition will not only help to protect one’s vision, it will also contribute to an overall greater level of health and vitality.


One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler


Sources:

http://www.amd.org/what-is-macular-degeneration/wet-amd/

http://www.medicinenet.com/macular_degeneration/article.htm

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Macular-degeneration/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

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