Macular Degeneration

Board Certified Optometrist located in Brooklyn, NY

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of vision loss, affecting about one in 10 Americans aged 50 and older. At Vistasite Eye Care of Kings Plaza Mall in the Mill Basin neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, board-certified optometrists Gary Eppel, OD, and Dmitri Bondarenko, OD, specialize in diagnosing and treating both types of macular degeneration. Call Vistasite Eye Care of Kings Plaza Mall today to schedule an appointment or book online.

Is there more than one type of macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an umbrella term for several chronic eye diseases that damage the macula, a part of your retina responsible for translating light into images. 

The Vistasite Eye Care of Kings Plaza Mall team treats both types, including:

Wet (exudative) macular degeneration

This type occurs when abnormal blood vessels form beneath your retina or macula –– two components at the back of your eye. The blood vessels leak fluid, causing eye pressure that results in central vision loss. 

Dry (atrophic) macular degeneration

This type occurs when tiny deposits of protein, called drusin, form under your macula. Over time, the built-up deposits dry out and decrease macula thickness, affecting your central vision.

How does an optometrist diagnose macular degeneration?

Your Vistasite Eye Care of Kings Plaza Mall provider reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, if they’re more noticeable at night, and if you have diabetes or other health problems.

Next, they complete an eye exam and order several tests, including:

Dilated eye exam

During this test, your provider administers eye drops that cause your pupils to widen (dilate). That lets them view the structures at the back of your eye, including the retina and macula.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT)

OCT is a type of diagnostic imaging that takes detailed, three-dimensional pictures of the back of your eye. It lets your optometrist see your retina and macula and helps them identify changes to these structures that might affect your vision.

Amsler grid test

During this test, you look at a chart with straight lines and a large dot in the center. If these lines look wavy, blurry, or distorted, you may have macular degeneration. 

How is macular degeneration treated?

There’s no cure for macular degeneration, but various treatments can slow its progression and preserve your eyesight. The team might suggest:

  • Supplementation with zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C
  • Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections
  • Photodynamic therapy to destroy extra blood vessels in the eye
  • Laser photocoagulation to seal leaking blood vessels

It’s also important to make healthy lifestyle changes. For instance, your optometrist encourages you to quit smoking if you do. Likewise, if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, it’s crucial to monitor these conditions and keep them in check.

Call Vistasite Eye Care of Kings Plaza Mall today to schedule macular degeneration treatment, or book your visit online.