senior woman with AMD

Macular Degeneration

Know your risks and preserve your vision

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What Is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration, also called AMD or age-related macular degeneration, occurs when the macula — the central portion of the retina — begins to wear down, causing central vision loss.

People who suffer from AMD tend to lose their “straight ahead” vision, making it difficult to read, drive, and recognize faces. 

Total vision loss is unlikely, as there's typically enough peripheral vision to allow for other activities of daily life. 

Man with macular degeneration


Types of Macular Degeneration:

macular degeneration types

  • Dry AMD: small deposits called drusen damage retinal nerve cells and reduce vision
  • Wet AMD: new blood vessels form that leak and release fluid that harms the macula. This is a more severe form of AMD that can more quickly cause vision loss.

Don’t Let AMD Rob You of Your Sight

An estimated 196 million people are living with macular degeneration worldwide. Although those affected by it rarely lose all their vision, the vast majority suffer from some degree of vision loss. 

While there is currently no cure for AMD, there are certain treatments that can slow its progression — and low vision aids that can increase independent functioning.

If you think you're at risk or are experiencing symptoms, contact Birch Lake Eye Clinic today. We can diagnose and help treat the disease.


Give Your Eyes the Care They Deserve

Macular Degeneration Treatment in White Bear Lake

Our optometry practice in White Bear Lake

Photograph of Brian Grudem
Hours
  • Monday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Spectera
  • Superior Vision
  • Davis Vision
  • EyeMed
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Risk Factors for AMD

  • Aged 50+

    The onset of AMD usually happens over the age of 50 and increases substantially with time. For instance, a 2% risk at age 55 can turn into a 30% risk by age 75.

  • Lifestyle factors

    Smoking or eating a diet high in saturated fat can increase your risk of AMD. Furthermore, these habits increase the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease–two additional risk factors for AMD.

  • Obesity

    Research shows that people with a BMI of over 30 double their chances of developing AMD.

  • Family History

    If you have a close relative with AMD, you have a higher risk of developing this eye condition.


How to Stop the Progression of Macular Degeneration

While there isn’t yet a cure for AMD or an effective way of reversing vision loss that has already occurred, you can take certain steps and adopt new habits to slow the progression of the disease.

Furthermore, certain treatments can slow its progression and low vision aids that can increase independent functioning.

Talk to us about how you can slow the progression of the disease and avoid vision loss by contacting Birch Lake Eye Clinic today. 

Photograph

Patient Reviews
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406 Reviews
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- Apr. 07, 2024
Very friendly and efficient staff and Doctor. Did not have to wait to get checked in and waited les... s than 5 mn to get into appointment. Doctor and staff took time to listen to my concerns. Everyone here is very professional and the offices are very nice and clean. Positive experience.
- Mar. 12, 2024
If you are looking for an eye clinic do check out Birch Lake Eye Clinic and Optical. Dr. Lucas is v... ery kind and knowledgeable and takes the time to explain things and all the staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful.
- Feb. 21, 2024
My entire family came here for our eye care. The Dr and staff were very friendly, patient and consid... erate when it came to our different vision needs and the special care we all needed. We are very satisfied with the service and our glasses we received. Thank you for your professionalism, patience, kindness, curtesy, expertise, experience, knowledge and skills. Your service was exceptional and I highly recommend your office to all my friends and family and to anyone looking for good service.
- Jan. 27, 2024
Staff was professional and friendly.
- Jan. 23, 2024
The clinic and staff are a blessing in my life and have turned a "have to do" chore into a "looking ... forward to going in" positive experience. It is wonderful to see them . . . in more ways than one!
- Jan. 13, 2024
Everyone was friendly, caring, and competent.
- Jan. 05, 2024
Professional, knowledgeable and excellent choice of frames.
- Dec. 30, 2023
Dr. Lucas are excellent . They are skilled, work well with their clients and are highly recommended... . I would recommend them to everyone.
- Dec. 29, 2023
As a new patient in serious need of an appointment the front desk staff of the Birch Lake Eye Clinic... worked quickly to find me an appointment as soon as possible. Dr Lucas and his assistant were great and very informative. I felt very at ease in this clinic and will return.
- Dec. 22, 2023
So much positive about your staff! I wish I knew all their names. My first contact was Mark on the... phone. So patient, kind and understanding. The receptionist was amazing. I think she could read my anxiety. The eye technician to the doctor simple the best. But they captured my heart when my temporary (trial lens) ripped the night before my flight to visit my daughter. I went into the clinic and most fabulous (so sorry I cannot remember her name) went the extra mile and got the lens I needed. From another location driven to me by an employee. She also researched my insurance policy and found coverage for a pair of glasses. Helped me pick out a frame. My anxiety was at a 10 plus. She was so calming and made me feel I was important. ❤️
- Dec. 17, 2023
Dr. Brad Schwantke is an amazing eye doctor. He’s kind and friendly and knowledgeable. He instantl... y put me at ease and answered all of my questions. He made going to the eye doctor very pleasant. I will definitely be back. As a nurse, I’ve met a lot of doctors, and he is in my top 10.
- Dec. 14, 2023
This place is the best! They genuinely care. They got me in immediately with my concerns of a floate... r and flashes of light in my right eye. The doctor was so kind and also extremely knowledgeable and very easy to talk to. Everyone there is so nice and also professional. I also got glasses there a few months ago and they're perfect! I highly recommend them!
- Dec. 14, 2023
Professional, knowledgeable courteous
- Dec. 08, 2023
Fast and informative customer service. Would highly recommend to anyone. Super friendly staff.
- Dec. 07, 2023
Always great personalized service and care from Dr. Schwanke.
- Nov. 26, 2023
Best eye place I have ever went to
- Oct. 30, 2023
Phenomenal team at every step! Well done!
- Oct. 26, 2023
Alice and Brad and the other staff were great. Seemed to care and were very professional but, also w... ere very down to earth friendly.
- Oct. 10, 2023
I had my first eye appointment in five years yesterday at Birch Lake Eye Clinic. I was looking for a... n eye clinic near White Bear Lake and picked this one because of the reviews plus I wanted to see a woman doctor. I really liked the clinic! All of the staff were friendly and helpful. Shae was the assistant through the initial tests - I really liked her and appreciated that she walked me through next steps as we went along. Dr. Deanna was really nice to me, talked through all of my symptoms/concerns, and never made me feel like she was rushing along to see the next patient. She was articulate and explained everything along the way. She seemed experienced and well educated. Everything I'm looking for when it comes to something as serious as my eyes! I walked out feeling relieved. Highly recommend.
- Oct. 08, 2023
The staff at BirchLake Eye Clinic are very friendly.

View All 406 Reviews

Macular Degeneration FAQs

What are the first signs of AMD?

You may have AMD and not know it. Typically, symptoms may not develop until the advanced stage of the eye disease.

First signs of AMD may include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Blind spots or dark spots
  • Straight lines appearing distorted or wavy
  • Faded colors 

 For early detection and better outcomes, it's important to undergo regular eye exams at our eye clinic, especially if you have a family history of AMD or other risk factors. 

How common is macular degeneration?

Statistics indicate that 8.7% of the world population has macular degeneration. The rate of AMD is expected to increase from 196 million in 2022 to 288 million by 2040.

What is the best treatment for macular degeneration?

Currently, the most common treatment for wet AMD is the injection of medications called anti-VEGF agents. High levels of VEGF in the eye increase the formation of abnormal blood vessels that cause much of the damage in wet AMD.


senior couple with AMD wearing glasses

Don’t let AMD stop you from doing the things you love.

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