senior woman with AMD

Macular Degeneration

Know your risks and preserve your vision

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What Is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration, also called AMD or age-related macular degeneration, occurs when the macula — the central portion of the retina — begins to wear down, causing central vision loss.

People who suffer from AMD tend to lose their “straight ahead” vision, making it difficult to read, drive, and recognize faces. 

Total vision loss is unlikely, as there's typically enough peripheral vision to allow for other activities of daily life. 

Man with macular degeneration


Types of Macular Degeneration:

macular degeneration types

  • Dry AMD: small deposits called drusen damage retinal nerve cells and reduce vision
  • Wet AMD: new blood vessels form that leak and release fluid that harms the macula. This is a more severe form of AMD that can more quickly cause vision loss.

Don’t Let AMD Rob You of Your Sight

An estimated 196 million people are living with macular degeneration worldwide. Although those affected by it rarely lose all their vision, the vast majority suffer from some degree of vision loss. 

While there is currently no cure for AMD, there are certain treatments that can slow its progression — and low vision aids that can increase independent functioning.

If you think you're at risk or are experiencing symptoms, contact Bittel Vision Care Center - Jefferson Hills today. We can diagnose and help treat the disease.


Give Your Eyes the Care They Deserve

Macular Degeneration Treatment in Jefferson Hills

Our optometry practice in Jefferson Hills

Photograph of Robert  Bittel
Hours
  • Monday 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Spectera
  • Medicaid
  • Anthem
  • EyeMed
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross
  • MetLife
  • Aetna

Risk Factors for AMD

  • Aged 50+

    The onset of AMD usually happens over the age of 50 and increases substantially with time. For instance, a 2% risk at age 55 can turn into a 30% risk by age 75.

  • Lifestyle factors

    Smoking or eating a diet high in saturated fat can increase your risk of AMD. Furthermore, these habits increase the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease–two additional risk factors for AMD.

  • Obesity

    Research shows that people with a BMI of over 30 double their chances of developing AMD.

  • Family History

    If you have a close relative with AMD, you have a higher risk of developing this eye condition.


How to Stop the Progression of Macular Degeneration

While there isn’t yet a cure for AMD or an effective way of reversing vision loss that has already occurred, you can take certain steps and adopt new habits to slow the progression of the disease.

Furthermore, certain treatments can slow its progression and low vision aids that can increase independent functioning.

Talk to us about how you can slow the progression of the disease and avoid vision loss by contacting Bittel Vision Care Center - Jefferson Hills today. 

Photograph

Patient Reviews
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17 Reviews
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- Mar. 27, 2024
Went for a routine eye exam and prescription check. Dr. Mehalik was great!
- Dec. 21, 2022
Excellent service as usual. Dr Bittel has always treated our family with great care and professiona... lism
- Sep. 21, 2022
The whole staff was so friendly and kind. Everything went easy and smooth for being a first time pat... ient. The doctor is amazing! She is very kind.
- Jul. 21, 2022
I just went there yesterday for my first appointment and was very pleased with the staff there. They... were very friendly and the doctor there was super nice and helpful. It was a nice experience for me.
- Feb. 23, 2022
Great vision care by Dr Bittel for over 30 yrs!!! I wouldn’t go anywhere else!
- Sep. 16, 2021
They found a problem I didn’t know I had & sent me to an excellent laser surgeon & did the follow ... up at Coal Vally Rd. The office staff is outstanding along with Dr Robert Bittle.
- Jan. 16, 2020
I’m embarrassed to admit but I hadn’t had an eye exam for probably 10+ years...partly because of... no vision insurance and then when I did have insurance, I just kept putting it off...then I broke my glasses on Christmas Day and had to super glue one of the ear pieces, so the time had come. But I started to fear the unknown. Well, today I had my appointment (with a wonderful new eye doctor) and after a thorough dilated (that was the worst part!) exam with digital imaging done, my vision is perfect for someone my age - no glaucoma, no macular degeneration. New glasses ordered...all is good!!
- Sep. 10, 2019
Staff is always so pleasant and accommodating. Doctors are excellent.

View All 17 Reviews

Macular Degeneration FAQs

What are the first signs of AMD?

You may have AMD and not know it. Typically, symptoms may not develop until the advanced stage of the eye disease.

First signs of AMD may include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Blind spots or dark spots
  • Straight lines appearing distorted or wavy
  • Faded colors 

 For early detection and better outcomes, it's important to undergo regular eye exams at our eye clinic, especially if you have a family history of AMD or other risk factors. 

How common is macular degeneration?

Statistics indicate that 8.7% of the world population has macular degeneration. The rate of AMD is expected to increase from 196 million in 2022 to 288 million by 2040.

What is the best treatment for macular degeneration?

Currently, the most common treatment for wet AMD is the injection of medications called anti-VEGF agents. High levels of VEGF in the eye increase the formation of abnormal blood vessels that cause much of the damage in wet AMD.


senior couple with AMD wearing glasses

Don’t let AMD stop you from doing the things you love.

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