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Macular Degeneration Specialist

Aryeh L. Pollack, MD -  - Medical Retina Specialist

New York Retina and Macula Institute

Aryeh L. Pollack, MD

Vitreoretinal and Macula Surgeon & Medical Retina Specialist located in Midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY

While the exact cause of macular degeneration is unclear, as you get older, your risk for developing this eye disease increases. At his New York City practice, New York Retina and Macula Institute, with convenient locations in Midtown East Manhattan and Borough Park in Brooklyn, Aryeh L. Pollack, MD, expertly diagnoses and treats age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Pollack specializes in retinal, vitreoretinal, and macula surgery, using the most advanced techniques in a modern eye care facility. Call to schedule an appointment or book online today.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye disease that damages the area in the center of your retina – the macula. When the macula becomes damaged, your vision becomes distorted or blurry. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in America for people age 50 and older.

The macula is responsible for focusing central vision in your eye. It controls your ability to read, drive, and see objects and faces in fine detail. Macular degeneration may occur slowly or progress more quickly, leading to rapid vision loss.

There are two types of macular degeneration you can develop: dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular or exudative). In dry AMD, the tissues of the macula age and thin. In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels leak blood and other fluids through the retina, causing scarring. Having dry AMD increases your chances of developing wet AMD. 

What are the risk factors for developing macular degeneration? 

Age is the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration. It’s most likely to occur after age 60, but men and women 50 or older are at risk. Other risk factors include: 

  • Smoking 
  • Being Caucasian
  • Family history and genetics
  • Nutrition

Smoking doubles your risk for developing macular degeneration, so if you’re a smoker and you have other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, quitting may help lower your risk of developing AMD as you get older. Additionally, protect your eyes from excessive sun exposure and have your eyes examined regularly at New York Retina and Macula Institute so Dr. Pollack can detect the earliest signs of macular degeneration. 

What treatments are available for macular degeneration?

Early macular degeneration, in which you don’t experience vision loss, doesn’t require treatment. However, it’s important to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year, so Dr. Pollack can monitor your condition and determine if the disease is progressing. For intermediate and late AMD, researchers at the National Eye Institute recommend taking certain high-dose vitamins and minerals to slow the progression of the disease. 

These supplements may include:

  • Vitamins C and E
  • Beta-carotene
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin 

There is no cure for macular degeneration, but taking these vitamins and minerals may help slow its progression and help prevent or delay vision loss. 

For more advanced stages of macular degeneration, Dr. Pollack may recommend injections, photodynamic therapy, or laser surgery. He uses the latest techniques and the most advanced treatment methods and tailors them to your specific needs and your type of AMD. 

If you’re concerned about macular degeneration or you’d like to learn more about treatment options, schedule an appointment at New York Retina and Macula Institute by phone or through the online booking system.