Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration Specialist
Dr. John Pilavas is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration. His office serves residents living in many New York communities, including Astoria and the surrounding neighborhoods. Dr. Pilavas encourages his patients to have their eyes checked regularly and to visit his office if they begin to experience any problems with their vision.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

by John Pilavas, MD

What is macular degeneration?

The disease develops over time and is often considered to be age-related. The macula is a small area of tissue located on the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula begins to deteriorate or lose its ability to maintain proper focus within the eye.

With over 60 million people affected by macular degeneration, it’s a common vision problem that often results in irreversible vision loss. There are two types of macular degeneration: The wet form is the result of an excessive number of blood vessels in the area, while the dry form is characterized by small, yellow spots.

What are common causes of macular degeneration?

Most cases of macular degeneration are age-related. Diets that are high in carbohydrates and unsaturated fats may also play a role in the development of the condition. Other factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Although a lack of exercise may contribute to the gradual progression of the condition, it’s one of the less likely culprits to cause vision loss. There are many cases in which patients have several of the risk factors, including being over the age of 60.

How is macular degeneration diagnosed?

Macular degeneration is often discovered during an annual eye exam. Optical coherence tomography and fluorescein angiography are also tests that may be used to identify the condition. Whatever test he uses, Dr. Pilavas will closely examine the interior of the eye looking for any abnormalities.

When yellow deposits are discovered in the macular portion of the retina, Dr. Pilavas diagnoses the patient with the “dry” form of macular degeneration. When he examines the retina by looking through a small grid, he’ll also try to determine if the lines appear wavy or skewed. If so, the patient may be experiencing the beginning stages of macular degeneration.

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