About Macular Degeneration
The macula is the central area of the retina. It is responsible for our central vision, which is needed for activities like reading and driving, as well as for seeing fine details. As we age, especially after the age of 60, the macula can begin to deteriorate, and this is called macular degeneration. There are two types of macular degeneration, dry and wet, and together, they are one of the major causes of vision impairment and blindness among the elderly. Individuals with macular degeneration have impaired central vision but typically have enough peripheral vision to be able to perform daily functions.
There is currently no cure for either type of the disease, but there are innovative and advanced treatments for wet macular degeneration that have the potential to delay or stop its progression. At Koch Eye Associates, our eye health professionals are extensively trained in these treatments and can help you regain some of your lost vision or maintain your remaining functional vision. Schedule an exam at our Wakefield, Woonsocket, North Kingstown, Warwick, Providence, or Johnston, RI facility to find out which treatment is best for your macular degeneration.
"I first went to Koch Eye many years ago after being referred there for a follow up appointment after being treated at the emergency room for an eye injury, That was the only time I actually saw Dr. Koch himself (who was very nice by the way) It is only in the last few years (since my old lady eyes have begun to need reading glasses) that I have come in regularly for my eye exam and glasses prescription. I never have any problem with wait time because there are several optometrists. Really the only thing I am not crazy about is their hours. I wish it was possible to get an evening appointment or that there was an occasional Saturday. The office staff is pleasant and courteous"- I.C. / Yelp / May 09, 2019
"The staff was great good exam. They took the time to explain what and why the we’re doing"- A.R. / Facebook / Jan 30, 2020
"I had been going to Vision World/ Works for the last 20 years for eye exams, glasses, contacts. When I was last seen a few years ago I was told my eyes had weakened and I needed -6.0 in my left eye and -5.0 in my right, a substantial increase from -4.75 left and -3.75 right two years before. Needless to say I experienced hyperopia and needed readers for the first time. I wasn't able to read labels, see my phone, or use a laptop without readers of at least +2.5. I was recentl...y seen by Dr Besen at Koch Eye who prescribed contacts of -5.25 left and -4.25 right. I'm absolutely certain that Vision World had me in lenses that were too strong because now I can see my laptop without readers, and I can see my phone if I hold it at arms length. Not only can I see better (for distance as well as close up), but the entire experience of walking into Koch, being greeted by reception, having a preliminary exam by the optician assistants, receiving a full eye exam by the optometrist, being properly fitted for glasses by the optician, and checking out with reception, is exponentially superior with Koch. Clearly the entire staff enjoy their careers, and are friendly, professional, and completely competent. Thank you, Koch Eye Associates! I will recommend you to everyone I know. Sincerely, Kate Carroll"- K.C. / Facebook / Nov 13, 2019
"Had LASIK on 8/14/2020, great experience, I was well informed of what to expect. No surprises. Dr. Gerber was very professional and has good bed side manners. For my follow up the next day I saw Dr. Bae and she was very nice, friendly and sweet. The entire staff at all the locations I have visited for eye exams, purchase glasses and/or contacts have been very nice. Very nice and clean locations, everyone wears a mask and practice social distancing as much as possible. I am glad I had this team for my surgery and my family eye care needs."- S.R. / Yelp / Aug 25, 2020
"This is one of the most easy going, kind, helpful Eye Dr I am lucky to have she keeps up with new eye Technologies which is very cool and has taken good care of my eyes and made all my appointment easy, and took the time to ask my concerns and cares about me to make me a happy patient thank you to her and all the great staff she has on her team :)!!!"- Anonymous / RateMDs / Aug 04, 2020
Both wet and dry macular degeneration are usually age-related, but their symptoms are a bit different. Dry macular degeneration is the most commonly occurring type, but there are no current treatments for it. It progresses quite slowly, and patients with the dry type typically retain some central vision, as well as their peripheral vision. Wet macular degeneration is less common, but its effects are quicker and more severe. However, the wet type does have some innovative treatments available.
Patients with dry macular degeneration may notice:
- Dimmed or distorted vision, especially when reading
- Blind spots
Patients with wet macular degeneration may notice:
- Straight lines appearing wavy
- Blind spots
- Loss of central vision
Dry macular degeneration is the growth of tiny clumps of protein within the macula that can block, blur, or distort vision. Wet macular degeneration is the result of abnormal blood vessels that grow underneath the retina and then leak blood or fluid. Scientists have not been able to determine the exact cause of macular degeneration; however, there are some associated risk factors. The most predominant risk factors that have been linked to the disease are genetics, smoking, and being over the age of 60. Other important associated traits and conditions include fair skin and light eyes, obesity, being female, and having high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
There is no treatment currently available for the dry type of the disease. However, the experienced specialists at Koch Eye Associates can recommend many different types of low vision aids and therapies to help you continue to live an independent, full life.
For the wet type of macular degeneration, our highly skilled ophthalmologists can administer anti-VEGF injections to prevent or slow the growth of the abnormal blood vessels. These injections include the medications Eylea, Lucentis, and Avastin. If the macular degeneration is detected early enough, these injections are the ideal treatment method. If the disease has progressed to a later stage, laser surgery can be performed to cauterize the blood vessels to keep them from bleeding or leaking into the retina.
Seek Help Today
At Koch Eye Associates, we understand that a diagnosis of macular degeneration can be frightening, but we are here to help. Schedule your first comprehensive exam at one of our Rhode Island offices so we can begin your diagnostic testing and customized treatment plan. With our experience and skill, we can help you manage your symptoms, fight your vision loss, and maintain independence.