Dry Macular Degeneration

Retina Specialist located in Braidwood, IL

Dry Macular Degeneration

If you’re experiencing blurred or reduced central vision, you may suffer from dry macular degeneration. Many people over 50 experience the breakdown of the macula as they age, making dry macular degeneration a common eye condition. Sumit Bhatia, MD, at Signature Retina Consultants in Braidwood, Illinois, provides expert care to adults with these mild-to-severe vision issues. Call the office today or reach out by phone to discuss several treatment options.

Dry Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is dry macular degeneration? 

The macula, located near the middle of your retina, is responsible for producing clear, sharp vision. When macular degeneration occurs, it can be either “dry” or “wet.” Dry macular degeneration is the most common occurrence of this disease, affecting about 80% of people who have macular degeneration. When dry maculation occurs, the macula breaks down — this is commonly due to aging. 

When the macula breaks down, you may experience blurred vision or loss of central vision in one or both eyes. Macular degeneration may develop slowly over time or rapidly. Although it affects your central vision, you still maintain peripheral vision, avoiding overall blindness.  

What are the stages of dry macular degeneration? 

Macular degeneration occurs in three stages. The first stage, early dry macular degeneration, doesn’t typically cause symptoms. It’s important to schedule yearly exams with Dr. Bhatia to identify if you have early signs of dry macular degeneration to prevent complications down the road. Most individuals over 50 will experience the early stages of macular degeneration. 

In the intermediate stage, you may begin to notice blurriness in your central vision. You may also have trouble seeing in dimmed lighting or at night. 

In the late stage, often called “wet” macular degeneration, you may notice straight lines in your vision become curved or more severe, generalized blurriness in your eyesight. If the condition progresses, you might see blank areas in your vision, colors dull, and blurriness worsen.

What are my treatment options for dry macular degeneration? 

There’s currently no cure for dry macular degeneration, but there are a number of natural solutions and vitamin supplements that can slow its progression. Dr. Bhatia may recommend: 

  • Vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein, or zeaxanthin 
  • An improved diet of eye-healthy foods like leafy greens, fish, and yellow fruits 
  • Regular exercise 
  • Quitting smoking 
  • Anti-VEGF injections to improve retina swelling and reverse some vision loss 

When dry macular degeneration is in its early stages, Dr. Bhatia can also help educate you on low vision tools and refer you to vision rehabilitation specialists. 

There are a number of ways to make living with dry macular degeneration more manageable. Reach out by phone or online to schedule an appointment with Signature Retina Consultants today.