Vision is a critical ability; without it, we lose a significant amount of our independence, which today’s baby boomers and older seniors value highly. Macular degeneration is an eye condition that causes serious vision loss if not treated early. Call Dr. Diana Zabarko at Avant Garde Vision Center in Wayne, New Jersey, or book an appointment online to have your eyes checked.
Macular degeneration is an age-related condition of the eye causing major, irreversible vision loss. It occurs when a part of the retina, called the macula, decays from wear and tear. Because it’s related to aging, the condition is often referred to as AMD, or age-related macular degeneration.
There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. Yellow deposits appear in the macula in wet macular degneration, while abnormal blood vessels develop in dry macular degeneration. Most patients have the dry form, but the dry form can lead to the more serious wet form.
You may not even have symptoms when macular degeneration is in its early stages, but that’s when treatment is most effective, so it’s really important to have regular eye exams. During your visit to Dr. Zabarko, she conducts vision tests and uses equipment to look at your retina -- the part of your eye that processes and reflects light -- to see if there are any abnormalities found in degenerative eye disease.
She uses optical coherence tomography (OCT), a new technique to gain high resolution, cross-sectional views of your eyes. OCT shows Dr. Zabarko all of the blood vessels, lens, tissue, cornea, iris, optic nerve, and your retina “on the micron scale,” meaning she can see images a thousand times smaller than a millimeter. If she finds an abnormality, she refers you to a trusted retina specialist.
There is no cure for macular degeneration, but to slow the progress of this disease and prevent significant vision loss, Dr. Zabarko suggests attacking it on several fronts: