Macular Degeneration

Omar Shakir, MD, MBA -  - Ophthalmologist

Coastal Eye Surgeons

Omar Shakir, MD, MBA

Ophthalmologist & Fellowship Trained Retina Specialist located in Greenwich, CT

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people age 60 and older, but treatment can slow the disease and preserve your vision. At Coastal Eye Surgeons in Greenwich, Connecticut, experienced ophthalmologist Omar Shakir, MD, MBA, detects and treats dry and wet macular degeneration. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking tool.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

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What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a disease that progressively damages your macula and affects your central vision. Your macula is located in the center of your retina, and it allows you to see objects in sharp, clear detail. Macular degeneration usually gets worse over time, and it’s the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people age 60 and older. 

Macular degeneration can eventually cause you to lose most or all of your central vision. You may have only your side (peripheral) vision. Without your central vision, reading, watching television, driving, and many other everyday activities are impossible.

Symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Blind spots in your field of vision
  • Straight lines appearing wavy or distorted
  • Blurry or fuzzy vision
  • Difficulty seeing in low light
  • Printed words appearing blurry
  • Less bright or vivid colors
  • Difficulty recognizing faces

Macular degeneration usually affects both eyes, but it might not progress at the same rate in each eye. Your healthier eye may compensate for the other eye, so you don’t notice any changes in your vision.

The best way to treat macular degeneration is by detecting it early at a routine eye exam. Dr. Shakir has sophisticated retinal imaging technology that can uncover the early signs of macular degeneration before it causes noticeable symptoms.

What are the types of macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration may be either dry or wet:

Dry macular degeneration

Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form. When you have dry macular degeneration you experience drusen — yellow deposits that build up under your retina. The dry form causes blurry vision and difficulty reading or recognizing faces, but it’s far less likely to cause severe and permanent vision loss than the wet form.

Wet macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration sometimes progresses to wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration is more serious and develops faster than the dry form.

In the wet form of macular generation, abnormal blood vessels develop in your retina, which leak blood and fluid. This can cause scarring and damage to your macula, leading to a loss of central vision.

Be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible with Dr. Shakir if you notice any troubling symptoms.

How is macular degeneration treated?

Macular degeneration treatment depends on the form of the disease you have:

Dry macular degeneration

Though there isn't any medication or surgery specifically for dry macular degeneration, Dr. Shakir can help you make lifestyle changes to slow the progression of the disease and adjust to vision changes. You can protect your vision with a high intake of antioxidants through your diet, high-dose supplements, or both. Dr. Shakir may also recommend vision aids like magnifiers, reading aids, and brighter lighting.

Wet macular degeneration 

Wet macular degeneration requires treatment as soon as possible to protect your vision. Injectable medications, including Avastin®, EYLEA®, and BEOVU®, can prevent the growth of new abnormal blood vessels, and laser treatment can destroy abnormal leaking blood vessels. These treatments can preserve your vision and in some cases improve it, though it may not restore your normal vision.

To get treatment for macular degeneration, schedule an appointment at Coastal Eye Surgeons online or over the phone.