Macular Degeneration

Retina Specialists of Colorado

Retina Specialist located in Aurora, CO

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, with more than 10 million affected by the condition. As a retina specialist, Dr. Ross Chod of Retina Specialists of Colorado can help slow the progression of macular degeneration and even improve the vision in his patients in Aurora, Colorado. For the latest macular degeneration treatments, call the office or use the online scheduler to request an appointment.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

Retina Specialists of Colorado

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a progressive disease that affects your line of sight looking straight ahead, which is controlled by the central portion of your retina, called the macula. This area of your retina is located directly in front of your optic nerve, and it records the information at the center of your vision, which is sent through your optic nerve in order to create an image.

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD): wet and dry. But 85-90% of those diagnosed with AMD have the dry version of the disease.

There are three stages of AMD, which can affect one or both of your eyes, including:

  • Early AMD, with no vision loss
  • Intermediate AMD, where you may have some vision loss
  • Late AMD, with noticeable loss of vision

With regular eye exams, your doctor can look for early signs of the disease in order to intervene before it progresses.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

AMD affects your ability to see things straight ahead of you and may present itself in the following ways:

  • Reduced central vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Needing more light to focus on things directly in front of you
  • Print becomes blurry
  • Colors begin to lose vibrancy

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to see Dr. Chod for a comprehensive eye examination.

What causes macular degeneration?

AMD typically develops as you age — typically around 55 years and older — and it’s more common in white people. While there’s no known cause of the disease, there are a few factors that put you more at risk of developing AMD, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease

Some of these factors may not necessarily cause the disease, but they can accelerate or exacerbate AMD in its early stages, and even bring it on earlier.

How is macular degeneration treated?

After Dr. Chod conducts a comprehensive eye exam to look for drusen, which are yellowish deposits in your retina, he can determine whether you have AMD, and to what extent. There’s no cure for AMD, but Dr. Chod can turn to intravitreal injections — anti-VEGF (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor) — that reduce swelling and new blood vessel growth in order to slow the progression of AMD.

In addition to these injections, you can do your part by making a few changes that help slow your AMD, such as quitting smoking or losing weight.

To learn more about macular degeneration, call Retina Specialists of Colorado or use the online scheduler.