Regular eye examinations can detect early signs of macular degeneration. Like glaucoma, macular degeneration is a silent killer of sight. In most of cases, an affected person has no symptoms until significant damage to the macula has already occurred. As such, an early detection is important in the management of macular degeneration and preservation of sight.
Macular degeneration is the major cause of blindness in patients over age 65 in the United States. Although there is no cure, there are treatments (high dose vitamins, injections, and lasers) that can slow the progression of the disease.
Patients with risk factors such as family history, near-sightedness, Caucasian heritage, etc. need regular eye exams to detect early macular degeneration.