Optometry is the field of medicine that focuses on the eyes. Optometrists are the doctors that specialize in this field. They work to detect, diagnose, manage and treat conditions of the eyes. However, what may be surprising to learn is that optometry can also detect general health problems, just by examining the eyes.In this article,…
How an Optometrist Diagnoses and Treats Macular Degeneration
Wondering if you should see an optometrist to diagnose your current eye problems? Optometrists are eye care professionals who can diagnose eye disorders and eye diseases in their patients. When it comes to treating any eye problems that may be found, optometrists can provide their patients with a proper diagnosis, as well as explain the treatment options available to ensure that their eyes can once again be in optimal health.
What is macular degeneration?
Learning more about how an optometrist can help if you are currently experiencing eye problems is a great idea. This common eye disorder is caused when the center portion of the retina begins to deteriorate. It is more commonly found in those 50 and older. A common sign associated with this disease as a loss of central vision, which slowly but surely makes it difficult for those diagnosed to have clear vision.
According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans, which is more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.
How optometrists diagnose macular degeneration
Optometrists are able to diagnose macular degeneration in their patients by performing an eye exam. The patient will first receive eye drops, as this allows the optometrist to view the inside of the eye. This is important beause this eye disease directly affects the retina, which can only be seen using a special lens. Patients may also be asked to look at a grid, which helps the optometrist determine whether the patient is experiencing any blurry vision or blank spots.
How an optometrist diagnoses and treats macular degeneration
There are two different types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. It will depend on whether the patient is diagnosed with wet macular degeneration or dry macular degeneration when it comes to how an optometrist will treat the disease.
Wet macular degeneration is often treated by informing the patient of dietary changes they need to make in order to slow down the progression of the disease. It is also necessary for certain patients to take nutritional supplements. Patients are also encouraged to exercise on a regular basis and avoid smoking.
Dry macular degeneration can be treated by an optometrist if the disease is still in its earliest stages. Treatment for this particular type of macular degeneration includes undergoing laser treatment and having certain eye medications injected into the area, which only slows down the progression of the disease. The goal for those diagnosed with this type of macular degeneration is to prevent the disease from progressing.
Are you in need of an eye exam?
Would you like to make an appointment with our optometrist today? The only way you can understand the current state of your eye health is to have your eyes examined by an experienced eye doctor. If any eye problems are found, then you will be informed of what the next steps should be, which will be included in your eye care treatment plan. If you are currently experiencing any eye problems, please let us know when you call us to schedule your appointment.
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