Macular degeneration occurs most commonly in people over age 55 years and is known as age-related macular degeneration. The macula is a pea sized area of the retina which perceives details of an image while the rest of the retina is responsible for peripheral vision. With macular degeneration, the center of the field of vision blurs and clear details of an object are lost. Macular degeneration is usually associated with aging, however it may be linked to other conditions. High blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, myopia, or nearsightedness and serious eye injuries which could lead to retinal detachment could also cause damage to the macula. Persons experiencing blurred or distorted central vision should visit a doctor immediately.
Treatment begins with an eye examination to try to determine the extent of the condition. The North Iowa Eye Clinic employs the latest technology to diagnose and treat macular degeneration. North Iowa Eye Clinic patients also have access to macular degeneration specialists from Iowa Retina and Associates. One of these sub-specialists is on-site in Mason City every Monday and Tuesday, and patients can be seen on those days upon referral from one of the North Iowa Eye Clinic physicians.. The newest treatments for macular degeneration, which include ocular injections, are preformed by the Retina sub-specialists for eligible patients, right here in our Mason City office.
Although complications of vision with macular degeneration cannot be always be reversed, people can usually continue their daily activities using devices such as high-intensity reading lamps and magnifiers to help compensate for their loss of detailed vision. Macular degeneration is a serious condition and can have a significant effect on one's vision, however, people almost never go completely blind.
If you would like to make an appointment to be evaluated for macular degeneration by one of the North Iowa Eye Clinic surgeons, click here.
If you would like to watch a video further explaining macular degneration, click here.