Macular Degeneration: Symptoms & Diagnosis

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Macular Degeneration: Symptoms & Diagnosis

Macular Degeneration is related to aging and therefore is called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Patients with macular degeneration may begin to notice problems with eyesight sometime after the age of fifty. AMD could be hereditary so blood relatives should have their eyes examined every year after the age of fifty.

AMD usually starts with the appearance of yellow-colored spots in the macula. These spots, caused by the buildup of fatty deposits, are called drusen. Drusen do not usually change vision very much and only a few people with drusen alone develop severe AMD with loss of vision. When macular degeneration does lead to loss of vision, that loss usually starts in one eye but later may affect the other eye. When a person loses vision in one eye, the loss of vision may not be noticed because the healthy eye can still see detail. It is only when AMD severely affects both eyes that it will become difficult to do the kind of work that requires central vision, vision that can discern fine detail.

A person with advanced AMD, who has lost the ability to see detail with each eye, rarely loses peripheral vision and will still be able to get along fairly well. Macular degeneration almost never causes total blindness. Majority of patients can see well enough to take care of themselves and continue those activities that do not require detail central vision. The ability to look slightly off center usually improves with time, although eyesight will never be as good as before the macula was damaged.

If you are concerned about Macular Degeneration or have relatives who have suffer from AMD please be sure to schedule an appointment for an eye exam by calling Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020, visiting or

Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine Including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York, Maine.