Macular degeneration: separating fact from fiction- myths and misconceptions

Published on
February 3, 2023

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in older adults in the United States. Approximately 20 million adults in the US suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A recent study reveals that the number of AMD cases has doubled from previous estimates. In 2019, 18 million people over 40 were diagnosed with early-stage AMD, and 1.49 million with late-stage.

With such an important topic it is important to clarify some of the common misconceptions that people have about macular degeneration (AMD). 

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye condition that affects the central part of the retina, known as the macula. The macula is responsible for providing sharp, central vision and is essential for activities such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces. As the macula deteriorates, these activities can become difficult or impossible to perform.

What are some common misconceptions about AMD?

Some common misconceptions about AMD include:

  • That nothing can be done to prevent AMD: While there is currently no cure for AMD, certain lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy diet, can help reduce the risk of developing the disease. The Age Related Eye Disease Study demonstrated that a specific diet or supplement reduces the progression of the disease. Furthermore there is promising research in advanced stages to prevent and treat AMD in the future. 
  • That only older adults are affected by AMD: Although the risk of AMD increases with age, it can also occur in younger individuals, hence it is important to be aware of the risk factors and to take preventative measures at any age.
  • That AMD is only caused by genetics: While genetics can play a role in the development of AMD, there are also several other risk factors such as age, smoking, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
  • That AMD leads to complete blindness: While the disease may cause significant vision loss, the disease does not always lead to blindness or severe vision loss. This is why it is extremely important to diagnose AMD early and follow the recommendations of your eye doctor. For those patients who have lost vision there are still ways to maintain some level of functional vision, such as through low vision rehabilitation and devices.
  • That all symptoms of AMD are similar: AMD can be classified into two types: dry AMD and wet AMD, and each type has different symptoms and progression. Furthermore not everyone has the same experience of symptoms even if they have the same diagnosis. 
  • That symptoms of AMD are not noticeable: The early signs of AMD can be subtle and may not be noticed by the affected person, oftentimes the patient may find it a little more challenging to read or see at night. Because early signs of AMD can be hard to notice, it's important to have annual comprehensive eye exams to detect any changes in vision as soon as possible.
  • That there is no treatment for AMD: While there is no cure for AMD, there are treatments available that can help slow the progression of the disease and improve vision. This includes anti-VEGF injections, laser therapy, and vitamins and supplements.

Visit our eye doctor in Bellflower for diagnosis and management of macular degeneration

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of macular degeneration, such as blurry or distorted central vision, it is important to schedule an appointment with our experienced optometrist near you. Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and preserve vision. 

At our optometry clinic, we have advanced technology including high definition imaging of the retina which allows our eye doctors to detect subtle changes and diagnose earlier. To schedule an eye exam for macular degeneration, please call (562) 925-6591. Patients searching for advanced medical eye care for macular degeneration visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care services for patients from Bellflower, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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