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Macular degeneration can be identified through the use of a test known as the Amsler grid. As a person looks at the grid, sections of the grid may appear to have broken or distorted lines. Because macular degeneration tends to disrupt the center of a person's field of vision, the use of the grid helps to identify potential problems in their vision. A fluorescein angiography test may also be used. With this type of test, a dye is injected into a person's arm. The dye travels to the eye allowing the doctor to identify potential leaks from the blood vessels located in or behind the retina. This type of test is normally used to identify what is known as wet macular degeneration.
Although the cause of macular degeneration is not known, it is possible that environmental factors and poor lifestyle habits such as smoking may potentially increase a person's risk of being diagnosed with the disease. There is also strong indications that the condition may be linked to genetics. The condition will develop over time and continues to worsen as the person ages. As a person gets older, the macula of the eye may begin to break down. Obesity and cardiovascular disease may also increase a person's risk of being diagnosed with the condition. Individuals who eliminate poor lifestyle habits and begin to change their health for the better may be able to slow down the progress of the condition.
Once macular degeneration begins to affect the eye, the condition cannot be cured, nor can the damage be reversed. Doctors may be able to improve a person's eyesight with what is known as low vision rehabilitation. Doctors help patients explore options that can be used to help adapt to their vision as it continues to change. If the condition begins to appear in both eyes, the doctor may be able to implant a telescopic lens to improve a person's field of vision. The use of a telescopic lens can improve a person's long distance vision, as well as their close up vision. This only works along a narrow pathway, however, and will not improve peripheral vision.
InsuranceWe accept most major insurance. If you have any questions about your eligibility or coverage, please call our office. We are happy to help you! Please note that our practice does not take VSP or vision benefits. Dr. Hampton accepts medical insurance. Please call to inquire with any questions.