Macular Degeneration Treatment
Macular degeneration can cause vision loss when it’s left untreated. Those with diabetes have an increased risk of developing eye problems that can lead to vision loss, including macular degeneration. At Losh Optometry LLC, patients with diabetes can have their eyes checked for signs of macular degeneration and receive treatment as needed. Dr. Ryan K. Losh provides eye care services for patients in Northwest Missouri and Southwest Iowa.
Macular Degeneration Q & A
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration refers to eye diseases that affect the macula, which is the part of the eye that plays a role in central vision. Dry macular degeneration, which is more common, typically develops at a slow rate over many years. This type can turn into wet macular degeneration, which can cause sudden changes in vision. Detecting dry macular degeneration early helps reduce the risk of wet macular degeneration and severe vision loss.
What are the signs of macular degeneration in those with diabetes?
The symptoms of dry macular degeneration in those with diabetes are the same as the symptoms that occur in individuals without diabetes. These symptoms include increased blurriness, distorted vision, and decreased central vision. These can occur in only one eye or in both eyes. Some individuals also experience a harder time reading in low light, trouble recognizing faces, and reduced brightness in colors. Wet macular degeneration typically has the same symptoms, but they tend to come on suddenly and get worse more quickly.
How are diabetes and macular degeneration associated?
Individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of developing eye problems that can result in vision loss. Fluid can build up in the macula in those with diabetes, especially in those who have diabetic retinopathy. This eye disease causes blood vessels in the retina and the surrounding area to swell. This is believed to contribute to the risk of fluid buildup in the macula, which causes wet macular degeneration.
How is macular degeneration treated?
Wet macular degeneration treatment involves stopping new blood vessels from growing, which helps relieve symptoms and lowers the risk of vision loss. These treatments include medications that are injected into the eye, light therapy to activate medications in the eye, laser therapy to get rid of abnormal blood vessels. Dry macular degeneration has no cure, but controlling diabetes and adopting healthy habits helps lower the risk of vision loss. Those with macular degeneration can also undergo low vision rehabilitation to learn to function better with reduced central vision.
Can macular degeneration be prevented in those with diabetes?
Those with diabetes can lower their risk of macular degeneration by managing their blood glucose levels. Keeping these numbers in a healthy range helps prevent eye complications associated with diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. For those who already have macular degeneration, controlling blood glucose levels helps slow the rate of vision loss.
Individuals with diabetes should have routine eye exams to check for macular degeneration. Call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Losh at Losh Optometry.