Macular Degeneration

Iowa Eye Center Ophthalmologist Dr. Gauger talks about macular degeneration and treatment options.

Macular degeneration is also called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It affects the macula, the part of the retina necessary for sharp vision. The macula is similar to the sensor in a digital camera. AMD impairs central vision. It is the leading cause of legal blindness for those over 55 in the United States and it affects more than 1.75 million people each year.

Dry macular degeneration

Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease. It is a gradual breakdown of cells in the macula and an accumulation of debris. It causes progressive blurring of central vision. The signs can be detected during an eye exam, showing small round, yellowish white spots on the outer retina of the eye.

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is caused by new, abnormal blood vessels under the retina. They leak, bleed and produce retinal scarring which distorts or destroys central vision. Vision deterioration and distortion often begins with one eye, then affects the other eye. Vision loss can be rapid. Wet AMD accounts for about 15% of AMD cases but is responsible for over 2/3 of cases with significant vision loss. New treatments have significantly improved the outlook for wet AMD.

Treatment

Our ophthalmologists can diagnose both forms of the disease and offer treatment options that may slow its progress.

We can help

If you have any concerns, please contact us. Our ophthalmologists offer the latest equipment, technologies and surgical procedures to diagnose and treat this disease. Give us a call at (319) 362-3937.

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