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Macular Degeneration Specialist

Wolchok Eye Associates, PA -  - Ophthalmologist

Wolchok Eye Associates, PA

Ophthalmologists located in Jacksonville, FL

Around 11 million Americans have macular degeneration, and it’s on a sharp rise. At Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, caring ophthalmologist Stephen Wolchok, MD, is an expert in early diagnosis, maintenance, and treatment of all forms of macular degeneration. You can trust Dr. Wolchok to help you maintain your eyesight and eye health, so call the Jacksonville, Florida, office, or book an appointment using the online scheduler now.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration, commonly known as macular degeneration or AMD, is a disease that develops when the middle portion of your retina (the macula) starts deteriorating. Your macula relays images to your brain using the optic nerve, and its main function is ensuring clear central vision. 

When your macula relays distorted images, it can affect your ability to read, drive, see details, and focus efficiently. AMD is a progressive disease, so without treatment, it can steadily worsen and potentially cause permanent vision loss. 

Macular degeneration manifests in two ways, wet and dry. 

Dry macular degeneration 

Dry macular degeneration, which comprises 85-90% of all cases, is usually related to protein deposits that lead to macular thinning as you age. It often develops very gradually.

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration occurs when your eyes grow new, abnormal, blood vessels. These blood vessels are too fragile for normal function, so they frequently leak within your eye. As the fluid invades your retinal tissue, it often causes scarring and prevents normal retinal function.

A small amount of dry macular degeneration cases turn into wet over time. 

What causes macular degeneration?

There's no definitive cause of macular degeneration known at this time, but medical experts believe that certain risk factors could play a major role. 

Some of the most commonly recognized macular degeneration risk factors are:

  • Heredity
  • Sun exposure
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease 
  • Blood vessel disease or damage

When the team performs your regular eye exams at Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, they screen for AMD using the latest high-tech digital equipment. With the earliest diagnosis and treatment, you have an excellent chance of maintaining your eyesight.

How can I stop macular degeneration progression?

The team uses a variety of techniques to slow the progression of dry macular degeneration, depending on your needs. Lifestyle changes, like stopping smoking and eating healthier, are important. 

Patients with lots of protein deposits in their eyes may benefit from a particular combination of nutritional supplements:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Zinc
  • Copper

You may also benefit from low vision rehab or telescopic lens implantation.  

For wet macular degeneration, there are several options, including anti-VEGF drug injections, laser surgery, and photodynamic therapy that combines a special cool laser and medication. 

With nearly 50 years of helping patients with macular degeneration, Wolchok Eye Associates, PA, is the go-to ophthalmic practice for macular degeneration in Jacksonville. Book an appointment online or call the office now.