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Drs. Fine, Hoffman & Sims Opthalmologists in Eugene Oregon

Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Blurred and distorted central vision, blind spots and loss of color vision. Although peripheral vision remains intact, victims lose the ability to read, to drive, and to see fine detail. Straight lines, such as the edges of doorways, may start to look bent or crooked as vision becomes distorted.

Normal Vision

Macular Degeneration

The macula is an area at the center of the retina primarily responsible for your central or straight-ahead vision and your ability to see colors.

With age, tissues break down and fluids begin to seep between the "pigment" and "transparent" layers of the retina, causing them to separate. As fluid separates the layers of the retina, vision cells in the macula are pushed out of their normal orientation.

Often, your doctor detects early signs of macular degeneration during a routine eye examination before you experience symptoms

Treatment Available
So far, there are no medications that have proven to be effective. But wet AMD -- in the early stages, only -- can sometimes benefit from treatment with a surgical laser, to seal the leaks or destroy the abnormal blood vessels under the macula.

More Information on Macular Degeneration:
The following articles are in PDF format.

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Commonly Asked Questions:
What will help?

There are a number of low vision aids that will help with what peripheral vision you have left such as glasses, hand or stand magnifiers, or telescopes. With good motivation and low vision aids, most who suffer from AMD can continue to lead relatively normal lives.

What if I'm diagnosed with AMD?
You'll be asked to regularly monitor your condition with a grid test and immediately report any changes in results.

What research is being done for AMD?
New treatment and prevention methods are constantly being sought from certain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to slow the degeneration to photodynamic therapy (PDT). All are potentially useful treatments but all still require further evaluation to determine just how effective they will be.