More than 10 million Americans suffer from macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss. The condition is diagnosed when the central portion of the retina deteriorates, making detail hard to distinguish both close up and from a distance. Your eye doctor will conduct tests to determine what type of macular degeneration you have and whether it will respond to treatment.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is common among patients 50 and older. The causes are complex and include both hereditary and environmental factors.
Smoking, strokes, and high blood pressure puts patients at an increased risk of suffering macular degeneration. Obesity, heart disease, and spending too much time in the sun can also significantly increase the risk. Age is also a large factor, with almost one-third of the population over age 75 suffering from macular degeneration.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Patients may not have any symptoms in the early phase of macular degeneration, but blurred vision and distorted lines may later prompt a visit to the eye doctor. Patients may experience difficulty reading and driving.
Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration
Your doctor will review your family and medical history. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eyes will be examined for tiny yellow deposits under the retina, called drusen. They are deposits of cellular waste and immune system proteins. Vision tests will be conducted to determine whether you have defects in the center of your vision.
A fluorescein angiography and other tests may be used to look for abnormal blood vessels and other symptoms of certain types of macular degeneration. An optical coherence tomography may be used to take detailed cross-sectional images of the retina to identify areas of thinning, thickening, or swelling.
Treatment of Macular Degeneration
About 80% of patients with macular degeneration have “dry” or atrophic cases, while a small percentage have “wet” or exudative macular degeneration. Research is still underway on how to treat the dry form. The wet form, which is typically more serious, is caused when new, abnormal blood vessels near the retina leak blood or other fluid. It can be treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medication injected into the eye or, less commonly, laser coagulation or photodynamic therapy.
Regular eye exams are important to detect, monitor, and treat macular degeneration. Your medical team at the Cizik Eye Clinic will develop a personalized treatment plan to help maintain and possibly even improve your eyesight.
What you can expect at the Cizik Eye Clinic
The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is located at 6400 Fannin Street on the 18th and 19th floors. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care.
People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise. Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries.
Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible. At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.
At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.