Living with low vision is a concern for many, especially those age fifty and over. One of the types of eye problems often associated with people in this age range is age related macular degeneration. A degenerative condition of the macula, which is located at the back of the retina in the eye, this can leave the patient with low vision suitable for reading, driving and other close-up work where detailed sight is required.
Your ophthalmologist is your best resource for detecting early macular degeneration. He or she can then offer you preferred treatment options, as well as a full range of eye glasses specific to this disease, low vision magnifiers, and other aids to help you see better and live a full and active life.
What Procedures Will My Doctor Use for Detecting Early Macular Degeneration?
The first step your physician will take is to ask you if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with low vision. Symptoms can include blurry vision in the central vision field or portions of the vision that are missing, as well as straight lines appearing wavy, an inability to detect color variations between two dark or two light colors, and a long recovery time after you have been out in bright light.
When diagnosing or detecting the root of your problems, your doctor will also want to determine how at risk you are for developing age related macular degeneration. Age is a factor; most people with this disease are age fifty and over, although on occasion it will affect children. Those with a family history of the disease are also at a greater risk for developing it as well. Some individuals have a gene that puts them at risk. People who are obese, eat a high fat diet and suffer from high blood pressure stand a greater chance of developing macular degeneration, as do Caucasians.
What vision aids are available?
After the detection process, your physician will provide you with the best options for treatment. They could include the use of low vision magnifiers, as well as specialized eye glasses
Magnifiers can be as simple as a hand-held device all the way up to lenses that clip over your glasses, so that you can use them for detail vision when needed, and then flip them out of the way when you do not need them. Specialized eye glasses with tiny microscopes allow you to have a very magnified central vision area, yet they are placed on your regular prescription glasses, so that you can look under the microscopes when you want to see through the other lenses, working in much the same way as bifocal lenses do. Your physician can determine if you are showing signs of early macular degeneration and provide you with the best treatment options and vision aids.