Do you ever wonder how your vision will change as you age? Do you ever think what if I lose vision? How much will the loss be and what will I be able to see? Now there is a new device offered to the patients of the Eye Care Group that can measure and evaluate if you have risk of age-related macular degeneration before you even notice a first symptom or signs appear.
Just what IS Macular Degeneration? This disease is the leading cause of vision loss among older adults. It is a progressive condition that causes a part of your retina called the macula to deteriorate with age. The macula is responsible for your central vision which allows you to do things like read, watch TV, recognize faces, and drive. If left unchecked, this disease can lead to blindness. Below is a video to help you understand how Macular Degeneration, also called AMD, can affect you
Since poor night vision is a common symptom of Macular Degeneration, this device Adapt DX, measures the number of minutes it takes you to adjust from bright light to darkness. This number is your RI, or rod intercept, and it can help us determine if you have early Age-related Macular Degeneration. This test is patient-friendly and easy to use. Think of the test like a hearing test. A patient presses a button each time they hear a sound. In this test, a patient presses a button each time they see a light. It’s that easy!!
- Difficulty driving at night or reading in dim light
- 50 years of age or older
- Family history of Macular Degeneration
- Caucasian (white)
- Current or past smoker
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol
What if a person has early symptoms of macular degeneration? According to the American Optometric Association, the earlier your optometrist diagnoses age-related macular degeneration, the more proactive measures you can take to delay, or even prevent blindness. There are three levels of Macular Degeneration and they are as follows:
Subclinical AMD lasts for about five years and often goes unnoticed. The first warning sign comes in the form of trouble seeing at night. Many people blame poor night vision (caused by impaired “dark adaptation”) on the normal aging process and don’t report the symptom to their doctor.
Don’t make that mistake. If you begin having difficulty seeing at night, reading in dim light or adjusting to seeing in the dark, tell your eye care professional. Identifying AMD at this point is critical to delaying significant vision loss.
Early and Intermediate AMD
Before we learned that dark adaptation is the first symptom of AMD, eye care professionals relied on identifying the disease during the early or intermediate stages. At this point, your doctor may see drusen—yellow deposits of fatty protein under your retina—which is an indicator of AMD.
During late-stage AMD, people start to notice central vision blurriness. The transition from early-stage to late-stage AMD can happen rapidly. If left untreated, it can lead to legal blindness in as little as six months. While treatment options can slow the progression of late AMD, nothing can reverse the damage already done.
Your optometrist at the Eye Care Group can advise you how often you need to have an eye check-up, depending on your level of age-related macular degeneration and can assist in general health changes, vitamins, and consistent monitoring to determine the rate of loss. Early detection of macular degeneration often allows for more effective treatment before there is a significant vision loss.
Call the Eye Care Group for your appointment today and schedule your Adapt testing with your next comprehensive eye health exam: 541-476-4545 or request an appointment on our website www.eyecaregroup.net under the contact us tab!