Macular Degeneration Eye Exams in Calgary

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What Is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes central vision loss. The eye condition doesn’t typically result in complete blindness, but it can impact reading, driving, and recognizing faces.

Prescription glasses and contacts cannot correct vision changes caused by macular degeneration. The eye disease occurs when the macula (a part of your retina) is damaged.

The small but mighty 5mm macula is how we identify most of our colour vision and fine details. When the macula degenerates, however, we our vision becomes blurry and dull.

Regular eye exams are crucial in detecting vision loss and symptoms of macula damage. If you experience symptoms or have concerns about your vision, visit your optometrist. Prevention is the best method of protecting your central vision.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The risk of macular degeneration increases with age. Known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the eye condition has become a leading cause of blindness in North America, particularly in adults over 55.

Risk factors for MD include:

Dry MD

Macular degeneration has two stages: dry and wet. 

Dry macular degeneration is the first stage and it can occur in one or both eyes. The sooner the condition is detected, the better the chance of successful treatment.

Dry MD is the most common form, and symptoms include:

  • Central vision loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Retinal damage
  • Distortion of straight lines
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • Difficulty adapting to low-lighting

Wet MD

Wet macular degeneration is the second stage of the eye condition. It always presents as dry MD first, and then symptoms worsen. The second stage is more severe, and symptoms can occur rapidly.

Although wet MD is rarer, it shares many symptoms with dry MD. The difference is in how quickly and intensely symptoms occur. A few additional symptoms include:

  • Dimming colour vision
  • Lines appearing wavy
  • Increasing blank spots
  • Difficulty recognizing faces
  • Increasing visual distortions
  • Sudden dark or blurry spot in central vision

People diagnosed with wet MD may also experience Charles Bonnet syndrome, where the brain attempts to compensate for vision loss by inserting images. These abstract hallucinations are visual, with no accompanying smells or sound.

More Macula

Other conditions affect the macula and central vision.

Macular Edema

Macular edema is the result of fluid buildup under the retina. Poor drainage and increased intraocular pressure cause the macula to swell and thicken, which distorts central vision.

Macular edema can result from other health and eye conditions, including diabetic eye disease, age-related macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessel growth, eye surgery, and inflammatory diseases.

A macular hole is when a hole or opening develops your macula. This condition is usually slow-growing. Since both macular degeneration and a macular hole interfere with normal macula function, the symptoms are similar.

If the eye condition is diagnosed early and isn’t caused by trauma, treatment has a high chance of success. However, larger macular holes or trauma caused by other eye conditions complicate treatment outcomes.

Immediately seeing your optometrist increases your chance of preventing vision loss. Book an appointment to assess your eye health if you notice symptoms.

Preserve Your Central Vision

Early stages of macular degeneration can be difficult to detect, which often leads individuals to ignore symptoms. Regular eye exams can help diagnose changes to your eye health, so the details and minor symptoms aren’t missed. 

If you’re experiencing changes to your vision, or it’s time for a regular checkup, talk to your optometrist. We’re here to offer lifelong eye care and quality diagnostic technology. Together, we can assess your eye health and protect your vision.

Book an appointment with Dr. Bishop & Associates.

Our Locations

You deserve the highest standard of eye care. Our 4 locations make it easy for you to receive quality eye care, no matter where you live.

Willow Park Village

  • 412 – 10816 Macleod Trail SE
  • Calgary, AB T2J 5N8

Legacy Township

  • 230 – 200 Hartell Way SE
  • Calgary, AB T2X 4S9

Beacon Hill

  • 610 – 11877 Sarcee Trail NW
  • Calgary, AB T3R 1W5

Northgate Village

  • 103 – 495 36 St NE
  • Calgary, AB T2A 6K3

News & Resources

Pinguecula vs. Pterygium: What’s the Difference?

Eye health

If you’ve noticed small yellowish growths in your eyes or raised bumps on your eye surface, you may be experiencing a pinguecula or pterygium. It’s vital to understand that while these growths are commonly harmless, monitoring them to ensure they don’t become a problem down the road is essential.  Pingueculas and pterygiums are both non-cancerous, […]

Read More…

September 14, 2022
Donald Bishop

Is it Safe to Order Glasses Online?

Eyeglasses

Getting a new pair of glasses can be a fun experience for the whole family. Picking out stylish frames that match your unique style is something your optometrist knows you look forward to following your eye exam. We can help you achieve the proper fit during a frame and lens fitting to help ensure your […]

Read More…

September 14, 2022
Donald Bishop

Is It OK to Buy Contact Lenses Online?

Contact Lenses

With a rise in e-commerce, it’s understandable why many customers are attracted to online shopping. However, not all products are safe to buy online. Contact lenses are one of them.  Here are a few reasons why they are different: Contact lenses are medical devices They go inside your eyes and sit directly on your cornea […]

Read More…

September 14, 2022
Donald Bishop
A close up of an eye with pinguecula.

If you’ve noticed small yellowish growths in your eyes or raised bumps on your eye surface, you may be experiencing a pinguecula or pterygium. It’s vital to understand that while these growths are commonly harmless, monitoring them to ensure they don’t become a problem down the road is essential.  Pingueculas and pterygiums are both non-cancerous, […]

Read More…

A woman wearing glasses holds a credit card and types on her laptop as she makes an online order.

Getting a new pair of glasses can be a fun experience for the whole family. Picking out stylish frames that match your unique style is something your optometrist knows you look forward to following your eye exam. We can help you achieve the proper fit during a frame and lens fitting to help ensure your […]

Read More…

A woman smiling and wearing glasses holds a credit card while online shopping for contact lenses on her laptop.

With a rise in e-commerce, it’s understandable why many customers are attracted to online shopping. However, not all products are safe to buy online. Contact lenses are one of them.  Here are a few reasons why they are different: Contact lenses are medical devices They go inside your eyes and sit directly on your cornea […]

Read More…

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