Macular degeneration — the deterioration of a portion of the retina that controls our ability to read, drive, and recognize faces or colors — is the leading cause of vision loss, more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. This disease characterized by blurry, distorted or blank spots in your field of vision becomes a greater risk as we age. In fact, age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss among people 50 years of age or older.
The ophthalmologists at Dr. Sheldon J. Cowen are medical doctors specially trained to diagnose eye diseases like macular degeneration, performing a series of highly specialized tests of the retina and its central portion — known as the macula — to check for changes. Because macular degeneration occurs in stages, we stress the critical importance of regular examinations so that we can monitor changes to your eyesight over time.
While the specific cause of macular degeneration is not known, there are a number of factors that make some people more likely to develop it, including having a family history of the disease, having a diet that is high in fatty foods, suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or are overweight. Race also plays a role, with Caucasians more likely to develop the disease than African-Americans or Latinos. And smokers are twice as likely to experience this form of vision loss.
Although there is currently no known cure for macular degeneration, there are actions you can take to reduce your risk and potentially slow down the disease’s progress if you have already been diagnosed. The ophthalmologists at Dr. Sheldon J. Cowen have the most up-to-date methods of assessing your vision, and guiding our patients in taking the critical steps necessary to protect their eyesight. Call us today to schedule an examination and consultation with our doctors.
By Dr. Sheldon J. Cowen
May 25, 2021