What is Geographic Atrophy?

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What is Geographic Atrophy?

Geographic Atrophy (GA) is a progressive eye condition that can significantly affect a person’s central vision. It is a late-stage form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye disorder among older adults that results in vision loss.

GA represents a substantial concern for aging populations worldwide, as it can lead to a considerable decrease in independence and overall well-being. As a leader in retina & vitreous care, Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana provides exceptional, cutting-edge care for geographic atrophy. If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from geographic atrophy or other vitreoretinal diseases, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

The Development of Geographic Atrophy

Geographic atrophy develops as the light-sensing cells in the macula wear down over time. While the exact cause of GA is not fully understood, it is closely related to the dry form of AMD, which is characterized by the thinning of the macula and the accumulation of drusen (small yellowish deposits).

As AMD progresses, it can lead to the development of geographic atrophy, where patches of the retina become atrophic, leading to the loss of retinal cells and a decline in visual function. The progression of GA is often slow and insidious, which can make early detection challenging and underscores the importance of regular eye examinations for those at risk.

[Related: What is the Vitreous Humor]

doctor examining patient with geographic atrophy

Geographic Atrophy Symptoms and Diagnosis

Common symptoms associated with GA include:

  • Gradual worsening of central vision
  • difficulties in reading or recognizing faces
  • The need for brighter light when performing tasks

As the condition progresses, patients may notice a blind spot or blurred area in the center of their vision.

To diagnose GA, eye care professionals use a variety of procedures and tests, such as:

  • Comprehensive eye exam
  • Visual acuity test
  • Fundus photography
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Fluorescein angiography

These diagnostic tools are essential for differentiating GA from other retinal conditions and for planning appropriate management strategies.

Geographic Atrophy’s Impact on Vision and Daily Life

The impact of geographic atrophy on vision can be profound, as it primarily affects central vision, which is crucial for tasks such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces. Over time, as geographic atrophy progresses, it can lead to blindness. The condition can significantly impact daily activities and overall quality of life, making it challenging for individuals to maintain their independence and perform routine tasks.

The loss of central vision can also lead to difficulties in social interactions and contribute to feelings of isolation and depression, further emphasizing the need for supportive care and resources for those affected. Protect your vision with Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana; contact us today.

[Related: What is Vitreous Degeneration?]

Geographic Atrophy Treatment Options

doctor examining patient with geographic atrophy

Retina & Vitreous is one of the few retina clinics in Louisiana that offers new treatments of geographic atrophy. These new, safe treatments come in the form of drug injections, Syfovre and Izervay.

Beyond the cutting-edge treatments, geographic atrophy is treated and managed by:

  • Monitoring & observation
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Laser therapy

While these treatments and geographic atrophy can be scary, the team at Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana is here to help you along the way. Our experienced and exceptional staff are well versed in these new treatments, and we’ve helped countless patients restore their eyesight and manage their condition.

Treat Geographic Atrophy with Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana

Geographic atrophy is a serious condition that stems from the progression of age-related macular degeneration, leading to significant central vision loss. Understanding what geographic atrophy is, its symptoms, and its impact on daily life is essential for those affected by the condition.

Regular eye exams are the best way to prevent geographic atrophy from claiming your vision. Protect your vision and schedule an appointment with Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana.

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