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Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration, often referred to as AMD, is a medical condition that usually affects older adults. This vision-stealing disease is the result of degeneration to the macula. It results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of the damage to the retina. It occurs in dry and wet forms and is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults over the age of 50.

Types of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life. The dry form of advanced AMD results from atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelial layer below the retina. This causes vision loss due to the damage of photoreceptors, also known as rods and cones, in the central part of the eye.

The wet form of advanced AMD causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth. This ultimately leads to blood and protein leakage below the macula. Bleeding, leaking, and scarring from these blood vessels eventually causes irreversible damage to the photoreceptors and rapid vision loss if left untreated. Fortunately, only about 10 percent of patients suffering from macular degeneration have the “wet” type.

Macular degeneration is not painful, which may allow it to go unnoticed for some time. For this reason, regular eye examinations are important. While approximately 10 percent of patients age 66 to 74 will have findings of macular degeneration, the prevalence increases to 30 percent for patients age 75 to 85 years of age. Family history may also play a factor. The good news is that regular eye exams, early detection, and new treatment options enable doctors to maintain (and in some cases increase) visual acuity in patients.

Contact Us

March 30th, 2020

Sunshine Eye Clinic will continue to be closed for routine eye exams through April 26th, to be in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the American Optometric Association. We are closely monitoring conditions and recommendations set forth, and plan to re-open on Monday, April 27th.

Our staff will be available Monday through Friday from 9am-1pm to receive phone calls for emergencies as well as scheduling future appointments. Our doctors will be available to see emergency appointments only.

We will be offering a curbside pick-up for contact lenses and eyewear between the hours of 9am-1pm Monday through Friday. Please call or text our office at 417-886-2020 when you arrive, and a staff member will bring them to your vehicle.

We value the safety of our patients, staff, and our community during this time.

Thank You