Macular Degeneration Specialist

Rothchild Eye Institute

Ophthalmologists located in Delray Beach, FL

Macular degeneration is the single leading cause of vision loss for people age 80 and older, and many men and women as young as 40 already show signs of the condition. Eric J. Rothchild, MD, and his team at Rothchild Eye Institute, which serves the areas of Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Boynton Beach, Florida, are committed to helping you prevent and slow the progression of macular degeneration. For an expert evaluation and to determine your risk of developing macular degeneration, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a condition that causes deterioration of the center-most portion of your eye, which is located in the retina. The macula is responsible for visual acuity, giving you sharp enough vision to see faces, colors, and objects in detail.

Macular degeneration is a progressive condition that can eventually lead to the inability to process images correctly. There may not be any symptoms initially, and often this condition is not discovered until vision loss has already occurred. If left untreated, macular degeneration can lead to partial or total vision loss.

What causes macular degeneration?

There are two main types of macular degeneration, dry and wet, that have different underlying causes:

Dry macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of the condition. Yellow-colored deposits caused by broken down macular tissues collect on your macula, which leads to thinning and drying out of the macula. Dry macular degeneration can progress to wet macular degeneration.

Wet macular degeneration

The wet type is less common, and is often more serious. Wet macular degeneration happens when blood vessels that grow in the wrong area of the eye leak and bulge into the macula. This damages the cells of the retina, creating blind spots in your vision.

Early diagnosis, ongoing care, and expert treatment are imperative for the prevention of progressive vision loss with macular degeneration.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration doesn’t cause pain, and may go undetected until vision loss has already begun. Regular eye exams can catch this condition early, long before you see any symptoms.

During an eye exam, your ophthalmologist may see changes to your eyes such as:

  • Deposits on your macula
  • Progressive changes to your macula
  • Blood vessel growth in your macula
  • Leaking or bulging of blood vessels
  • Damage and scarring of your retina

If your ophthalmologist suspects you have macular degeneration, they may do specific testing to confirm a diagnosis and evaluate the degree of damage done to your eye.

Who is most at risk for macular degeneration?

Aging is the most significant risk factor for macular disease. Those over age 55 are the most at risk, with many changes starting as early as age 40.

Other significant risk factors for this condition include:

  • Family history
  • Being Caucasian
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

Currently, there’s no treatment for macular degeneration once it starts to progress. A healthy diet, active lifestyle, not smoking, eye protection when in the sun, and regular eye exams can help prevent and slow progression of this complex disorder.

To schedule an evaluation for any signs of macular degeneration, call Rothchild Eye Institute or schedule an appointment online today.