Macular Degeneration Prevention and Care in Olympia

Published on
November 11, 2022

Macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. AMD stands for age-related macular degeneration, a disease associated with aging. Therefore, it will have a greater impact on the senior citizen population. However, it's always important to have early detection in order to reduce the risk of irreversible vision loss.

Macular degeneration is an eye condition that affects your central vision. It is caused by damage to the back part of your eye called the macula which is responsible for your central vision.

What are the different forms of macular degeneration?

There are two forms of AMD.

Dry AMD

Most patients with AMD have the dry form. Although AMD can lead to blindness, most of the time it doesn’t cause blindness. Dry AMD is caused by waste deposits forming in the retina, which can progress over time.

Wet AMD

Another form of AMD is wet macular degeneration. This form is characterized by waste deposits in the retina, as well as new blood vessels growing under the retina, which are usually leaky, causing bleeding and fluid accumulation under the retina. As a result, the back of your eye gets swollen. Usually, this type of AMD has a more severe impact on your central vision and is more difficult to manage. Even though some of the bleeding and swelling can be treated, it can recur and be harder to treat. 

What are the different symptoms of macular degeneration?

  • It may be difficult for you to walk, recognize faces, and do fine detail work
  • You might notice that things are a little bit blurrier, or it may seem like your glasses aren't working as well
  • In later stages, your vision can become somewhat blurry or distorted, so if you're looking at a straight line, you might notice that it has some sort of wave or wiggle to it
  • You may have reduced contrast sensitivity, meaning colors appear different to you
  • Your central vision may be affected by blind spots

What can you do to prevent macular degeneration?

It is not possible to cure macular degeneration as there are several risk factors that are beyond our control, such as aging and having a family history of the disease.

But there are other things that you can do to support your retinal health, and either try to prevent getting AMD or at least slow the progression of the disease.

  • Wearing sun protection is important. UV rays may progress the AMD a little bit further. 
  • There are specific nutrients that are extremely important for retinal health, studies show that Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two major carotenoids found in the human eye (macula and retina), protect the eye tissues from sunlight damage. They are found in supplements called AREDS2, which are a combination of vitamins named after the study, Age Related Eye Disease Study (2), that showed the reduction of vision loss with those who had these nutrients of around 25% at 5 years.  It is recommended that you begin taking these recommended nutrients either through vitamins or by adding dark green leafy vegetables that contain vitamin C, E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and copper. In essence, that's what vitamin supplements are made of, but you can also get it naturally in your diet. 
  • Smoking is also a major risk factor for AMD. There is almost a three-fold greater risk of AMD progression in smokers than in non-smokers.

Schedule a low vision eye exam in Olympia, WA

If you or a loved one are at risk for macular degeneration or have been diagnosed with macular degeneration and would like a low vision eye exam, please call us at (360) 491-2121. Our office is equipped with state of the art technology such as OCT and ERG, which advance our care and early diagnosis for macular degeneration. Patients visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care and low vision services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.

Testimonials


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.


Amy Fagerness
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