Macular Degeneration

Neil H. Simmons, O.D.

Optometrist located in Leake County, Carthage, MS

More than 2 million Americans over 50 years old are in the late stages of macular degeneration, and millions more are in the early stages of the disease. Dr. Neil H. Simmons understands the devastating impact macular degeneration can have on your quality of life, and he works with his patients in Leake County, Mississippi, to slow the progression of the disease, preserving your eyesight as long as possible. If macular degeneration is having an impact on your life, call the Neil H. Simmons, O.D., practice or book an appointment online.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a chronic and progressive disease caused by the deterioration of the macula in your retina, the nerve tissue that senses light and enables vision. Your macula encompasses a tiny area that controls your central vision and, as the disease advances, you lose your central vision, leaving you with only peripheral vision.

Because most macular degeneration is associated with age, the disease is often called age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, and it comes in two forms:

Dry form

Dry form AMD is marked by yellow spots, which are also called drusen, found on the macula. As these drusen grow in size and number, they gradually interfere with your central vision, creating blind spots. In its most advanced form, dry form AMD leads to total vision loss.

Wet form

In wet form AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under your macula and leak blood and fluid. This leakage distorts your vision and, if left untreated, can cause permanent central vision loss due to scarring.

 

What causes macular degeneration?

Because macular degeneration is also called age-related macular degeneration, it follows that age is the primary driver of the disease. But other factors also can put you at risk of developing AMD, including:

  • Heredity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Gender (females more likely to develop AMD)
  • Smoking

 

How is macular degeneration treated?

Dr. Simmons offers several effective treatments based on your diagnosis, using digital retinal scanning technology to best gauge the stage of degeneration.

When it comes to dry AMD, there’s little Dr. Simmons can do to reverse the damage, but there’s much he can do to slow the progression and manage its symptoms. For example, Dr. Simmons often recommends:

  • Supplements
  • Corrective and protective lenses
  • Dietary suggestions
  • Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking

For wet AMD, Dr. Simmons utilizes retinal scanning technology to determine the proper time to refer to a retina specialist for treatments including lasers and injections.

 

If your vision is affected by macular degeneration, early intervention is key in effectively managing the disease. Call the Neil H. Simmons, O.D., practice to learn more, or schedule a consultation using the online booking tool.