Individuals over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which causes gradual vision loss. If you are over the age of 50 and have noticed changes in your vision, call our office to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss your risk for AMD.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a condition in which the macula in the eye breaks down resulting in gradual central vision loss. This vision loss is commonly referred to as age-related macular degeneration due to its increased development in individuals over the age of 50. Early signs of this condition include shadows in your central vision, fuzzy vision, or distorted vision. While AMD is not curable, early detection, prevention, and treatment can help slow or stop the progression.
Symptoms of AMD
- Straight lines appear wavy
- Fuzzy vision
- Night vision problems
- Gray, dark, or empty area in central vision
- Dramatic vision loss
Types of macular degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of AMD, diagnosed in nearly 90% of cases.* Dry macular degeneration causes yellowish deposits to form in the retina resulting in deterioration. Dry AMD will not result in full vision loss, but it is not curable or reversible. By maintaining good health and protecting your eyes from UV rays, you can decrease your risk and prevent early development of dry macular degeneration.
Wet macular degeneration is a severe form of AMD and accounts for about 10% of macular degeneration cases.* Wet AMD is an advanced form of macular degeneration and can result in full loss of central vision. Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and macula in the eye. As these blood vessels start to leak blood and fluid into the eye, the macula is forced to lift away from its base causing distorted central vision.
Who is at risk?
Macular degeneration primarily affects female Caucasians over the age of 50 people. While smoking is one of the highest risk factors for developing macular degeneration, other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, lighter eye color, and a family history of AMD.
If you are concerned about changes in your vision or suffer from one of these risk factors, call our office to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor and discuss your vision and risk of macular degeneration.
*American Macular Degeneration Foundation
Flashes, Floaters, and Spots: What’s in my Vision?
Have you noticed tiny shadows cast upon objects you are looking at? Do you see small spots in your vision when looking at a clear or overcast sky? You may be seeing floaters and spots in your field of vision.
What is the spot in my vision?
It is completely normal to see spots or floaters in your vision. As you age the gel-like consistency in your eyes begins to dissolve creating floaters in the watery center of your eye. While you cannot see the particle floating in your eye, a shadow of these particles can be seen reflected in the objects you are viewing.
Do I need treatment for my floaters?
No, most of the time treatment is not required for floaters in the eye. The floaters and spots are harmless, and most will fade over time. If your vision is inhibited by large floaters, give our office a call to discuss options available to reduce these symptoms.
Why is there a flash in my vision?
When light enters your eye it sends a message to the retina, the retina then produces an electrical impulse which is sent to the brain. The brain interprets this impulse as an image. If the retina is tugged, torn, or detached from the back of the eye it is common to see a flicker of light. The flashes or flickers of light can be temporary or continue indefinitely depending on the severity of the retinal issue.
Is this ever a medical emergency?
Seeing a few new floaters is not an emergency, however, if you suddenly see a shower of floaters or spots this may be cause for concern. The sudden appearance of flashes of light could mean that damage is occurring to your retina. If any of these symptoms suddenly appear, call our office immediately to discuss with your eye doctor.
Conditions associated with eye floaters and flashes:
- Bleeding inside the eye
- Inflammation of the interior of the eye
- Cataract surgery
- Laser eye surgery
- Eye infections
Regular comprehensive eye exams are key to early detection of eye-related diseases to keep you seeing your best every day. Adults should have a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years. Children should have an eye exam as early as 6 months, before they start school, and then every 1-2 years. If you or your family need a comprehensive eye exam, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
We often get questions about what an eye exam is like, so we’ve created an overview of a typical eye exam in our office.
Eye Exam Basics
What does an eye exam test for? Eye exams test your visual acuity and the overall health of your eye.
Why is an eye exam important? Eye exams check for early signs of serious eye and health problems; some of which may not present with any symptoms.
Who gives an eye exam? Your eye exam is performed by a licensed eye doctor.
Terms to know:
- Ophthalmologist: An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in eye care. Ophthalmologists can prescribe eyeglasses and contacts but commonly specialize in treating medical conditions of the eye and performing eye surgery
- Optometrist: Optometrists are eye doctors who prescribe glasses, contacts, vision therapy, and medication to treat eye diseases. Optometrists are not trained or licensed to perform eye related surgery.
- Optician: An optician is not an eye doctor, but is an eye care professional who fits, adjusts, and repairs your eyeglasses. They can also help patients learn to apply, remove, and care for contact lenses.
What to prepare for your appointment?
Before your comprehensive eye exam, there are several materials you can prepare. First, create a list of all your prescription and non-prescription medications you take along with the dosage. This will help your eye doctor determine any vision risks you may have. Bring your most recent pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses, if you have them. Don’t forget to have a copy of your vision insurance card and other medical insurance cards with you. To learn more about the insurance providers our office accepts and other payment options, please call our office directly. Finally, bring a list of questions or concerns you may have about your eyesight to discuss with your eye doctor.
What to expect during your appointment?
Prepare for your eye exam to take an hour or more depending on the number of tests your eye doctor needs to evaluate your vision and eye health. A typical comprehensive exam is a series of visual tests to inform your eye doctor about your vision.
These tests help determine:
- Sharpness of near and distance vision
- Color blindness
- Lazy eye
- Ability to follow moving object and/or move between two separate fixed objects
- Depth perception
- Determine your eyeglass prescription
- Structures of the eye
- Glaucoma test
- Eye drop test to look inside your eyes
- Blind spots
What to do after the exam?
Following your exam, you will have the opportunity to explore the various frames and lenses found in our optical space. An optician will be available to assist you in selecting a pair of eyewear that best fits your lifestyle needs. If you choose to wear contact lenses, you will need to schedule a contact lens fitting appointment.
Once your new eyewear is ready to be picked-up, an optician will adjust your frame to fit you best and make it comfortable for everyday wear.
Finally, schedule your follow-up appointment for the next year. Regular comprehensive eye exams are essential in maintaining healthy vision. If you ever experience any sudden vision changes or eye injuries be sure to contact our office.
Welcome to Dayton Optometric Center
Anterior Eye Disease Treatment – Eye Exams – Contact Lenses – Vision Therapy – Low Vision Aids
Our responsibility is to serve your eye care needs by providing you with quality service and care. We have over 50 years of service to our community. We want you to know about our policies and services. The more you know, the more we can be of service. If there are any questions, please ask since we want to be of help. Everyone in our practice operates as a team member. All have been trained as professionals and we take pride in our professional capability. We have two convenient locations and offer extensive experience and expertise.
Our practice offers a range of services and products to meet the needs of our diverse clientele and their specific requirements. Let us help you make the best decision for your eye care needs. We are here to help! Give us a call today.
Whether you need glasses, contacts or special eye care, we have the experience to service all your eye care needs.
Our office provides low vision examinations and specialized visual aids for people with subnormal vision. These aids consist of telescopic lenses, microscopic lenses, hand held and stand magnifiers, video display magnifiers and the like.
Our office offers consultations for vision therapy and we will refer to the
appropriate office if needed. Therapy is used to correct and enhance crossed-eyes, lazy eyes, reading problems, developmental-perceptual lags, and VDT (video display terminals) computer problems, to name a few.
The American Optometric Association has designed a public health program, InfantSEE©, to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life.
Under this program, we are proud to provide a comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infant vision within the first year of life, regardless of your income or access to insurance.