Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the second leading cause of blindness in Canada. There is no cure, but an annual eye exam could save your sight. Regular eye exams are the best way to catch AMD and treat it early.
Like most age-related eye concerns, AMD develops gradually. Because there are no initial symptoms, an annual eye exam is the best way to detect AMD and prevent unnecessary vision loss.
During your regular eye exam, our optometrists will test for AMD using a variety of methods and devices. We’ll check for any visual disturbances and examine your retinal health through dilated pupils. Amsler Grids are another tool to test your central vision. Signs you have AMD include lines on the grid that appear curved or wavy instead of straight, or missing or blank areas on the grid. We may also use Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to examine your retinas, which creates a high-resolution, cross-sectional image of your eyes, allowing us to see any underlying issues.
Dry AMD is the more common type of AMD, affecting 80-90% of those with the disease. It happens gradually as you age and there is no treatment or cure, making early diagnosis crucial to slowing its progression. Dry AMD occurs when deposits called drusen form beneath the macula. Over time, these deposits cause the macula to deteriorate resulting in vision loss and blindness.
Wet AMD is less common than Dry AMD, but is much more severe. 90% of blindness caused by AMD is due to Wet AMD. In Wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels begin to grow under the macula. Because they’re irregular, these blood vessels are likely to break, bleed, and leak fluid. This causes swelling of the macula, ultimately leading to rapid loss of central vision.
While there is no treatment for Dry AMD, good nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices can play an important role in preventing it or slowing its progression. Smoking and alcohol are both linked to AMD, so quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol intake can help prevent the disease. Making sure your diet is balanced including vitamins A, C, and E can also help preserve your sight. Minerals like zinc, copper, zeaxanthin, and lutein are linked to good eye health as well. Our optometrists can help recommend the right nutrition and nutritional supplements for you.
There are two main treatments available for Wet AMD that can help prevent further vision loss. Ocular injections of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) work by preventing new irregular blood vessel growth. Laser surgery is another treatment option where lasers are used to target and destroy irregular blood vessels. Early detection is crucial to both treatment options, so if you notice a sudden loss of central vision, contact us right away. If you are suffering from Wet AMD, our optometrists can recommend the best treatment option for you.
Broadway Eyecare is conveniently located on the corner of Broadway & Main Street, just around the corner from Oskayak High School.
|Tuesday:||8:30 AM - 5:30 PM|
|Wednesday:||8:30 AM - 5:30 PM|
|Thursday:||12:00 PM - 8:00 PM|
|Friday:||8:00 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Saturday:||9:00 AM - 3:00 PM|
We understand that life is busy, and it isn’t always convenient to take time out of your workday to visit your optometrist. To help serve you better, we offer Saturday appointments and have extended hours on Thursdays.