Macular Degeneration Care and Treatments
Understanding Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a condition in which the individual has a damaged macula—the center of the retina. This is one of the leading causes of vision loss for Americans over the age of 50. While it is primarily associated with aging, it is a genetic condition that can affect people of any age.
The damaged macula creates a blind spot in the center of your vision. This can make it very difficult to drive, recognize the details in someone’s face, or read a book. There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry.
Wet macular degeneration is the least common. In this condition, new blood vessels grow underneath and in the retina. These vessels tend to burst, causing a loss of vision.
Dry macular degeneration is the most common. With this condition, retinal waste accumulates below the retina of the eye. This waste prevents important nutrients from reaching the retina, and as a result, the cells in the macula die. Your eyes cannot process light and vision becomes blurry.
Can I Get LASIK If I Have Macular Degeneration?
LASIK surgery cannot treat either form of macular degeneration. LASIK reshapes the cornea. After you have LASIK surgery, the light entering the eye is focused more precisely on the retina. But as you can tell, this does not address the root cause of macular degeneration, which occurs within the retina.
Patients with wet macular degeneration cannot have LASIK. However, some patients with dry macular degeneration can: It will depend on your unique vision and eye health.
If you have any symptoms of macular degeneration, we suggest discussing them with your primary eye doctor. While there is no cure, there are many treatment options that can improve your quality of life with low vision—these range from taking vitamins and supplements to making positive lifestyle changes like eating healthy and quitting smoking.
If you are a patient with dry macular degeneration and you are interested in LASIK, reach out to our team to schedule a consultation and learn more about your candidacy for laser eye surgery.