What Is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss among people who are 50 years old and older. AMD is a result of the macula, or center region of your retina, wearing down, typically due to the natural effects of aging. The wearing down of the light-sensing nerve tissue in your eyes causes a loss of your central vision while often leaving your peripheral (side) vision intact. There are two types of AMD: Dry AMD, which is the most common, affecting about 80% of macular degeneration patients, and Wet AMD, which is more serious but less common.
At Wicker Park Eye Center, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Tepper and his experienced team provide testing, diagnosis, and treatment for both dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. If you're in Chicago, IL, or the Greater Chicago area, contact us today to learn more about AMD and schedule a consultation. Let Dr. Tepper and our team test you for macular degeneration and provide the right treatment to help keep your vision healthy and you seeing the world clearly.
"Wicker Park Eye Center helped me immensely during my short stay in Chicago! I lost my contacts and didn't have glasses, and needed to drive 100 miles back home, and Tania from Wicker Park Eye Center was so kind and patient. Thank you again for all the help!"- J.M. / Google / Jun 19, 2021
"Pleasant visit, short waiting."- D.C. / Google / Jun 10, 2021
"I had eye surgery and all went well. The Staff did a Job."- J.R. / Google / Jun 10, 2021
"Dr Tepper is a great doctor."- J.L. / Facebook / May 17, 2021
"It was a pleasant experience. Front desk was very welcoming and helpful. Cyanna and Gigi were very helpful and work with me on all my questions and picking out my glasses."- L.G. / Google / May 10, 2021
HOW DOES MACULAR DEGENERATION TREATMENT WORK?
Dr. Tepper will run a series of tests to identify markers for macular degeneration during a routine eye exam. Often the most common marker can include drusen, which are small yellow spots under the retina, also referred to as pigment clumping. You may also be asked to look at visual field tests like the Amsler grid. If any symptoms of AMD are found, Dr. Tepper may recommend an angiography or optical coherence tomography (OCT). During angiography, a medical dye is injected into your arm, which allows Dr. Tepper to locate and image abnormal blood vessels or leaking fluid in the eye. An OCT can do this without the dye by using light.
Depending on your type of macular degeneration (either dry or wet), Dr. Tepper may prescribe different treatments to improve your eye health and preserve your vision, including:
- Medications to block the formation of new blood vessels in the eyes
- Laser therapy to treat abnormal blood vessels
- Photodynamic laser therapy
- Low-vision aids that can include specialized lenses or image magnification technologies
Different stages of AMD require different treatments:
- Early: Treatment in the early stage usually consists of annual eye exams and lifestyle adjustments, such as diet and exercise.
- Intermediate: While there are some promising studies into nutritional supplements as treatment, lifestyle changes and regular exams are still the main options.
- Advanced: Dr. Tepper can recommend a number of possibilities, including medications, injections, and laser surgery.
Which option is best will depend on the type of AMD you have.
Macular degeneration treatment FAQ
Is macular degeneration preventable?
It may not be possible to prevent macular degeneration as it is part of the natural aging process. However, there are steps a patient can take to reduce their risk of this eye condition later on. Dr. Tepper recommends healthy lifestyle changes like regular diet and exercise. These can help boost your immune system and delay or even prevent macular degeneration.
How do I know if I have macular degeneration?
The only way to know if you have macular degeneration is through a comprehensive eye exam at Wicker Park Eye Center. During this appointment, we will review your medical history and thoroughly examine your eyes. If you do have any eye conditions, our experienced professionals will provide you with the best treatment options available.
What can I expect as an eye care patient?
When you visit our office in Chicago, IL, you can expect a professional and comfortable environment designed with each patient in mind. Our knowledgeable staff will answer all of your questions and help you to feel at ease throughout the appointment. We also offer a wide variety of eye care services and procedures to meet your needs.
Protect Your Vision for Decades
It is important to understand that there is no cure for macular degeneration. But there are still measures you and Dr. Tepper can take to slow the disease's progression and preserve your vision for as long as possible. If you're in Chicago, IL, or the Greater Chicago area, contact Wicker Park Eye Center today to learn more about macular degeneration and schedule an eye exam. With regular eye exams, lifestyle changes, and current treatment technologies, you can fight macular degeneration to dramatically improve and preserve the health and clarity of your vision.