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 Vision Care Specialists today. We can diagnose and help treat the disease.


Give Your Eyes the Care They Deserve

Please call the office to schedule Functional Vision Evaluations, Vision Therapy, or Ortho K.


Macular Degeneration Treatment in Southborough

Our optometry practice in Southborough

Photograph of John  Abbondanza
Hours
  • Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
Insurance Plans
  • VSP
  • Medicare
  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • EyeMed
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Unicare

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 Vision Care Specialists today. 

Photograph

Patient Reviews
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- Nov. 10, 2023
After noticing I was having double vision, I went to see Dr. Abbondanza hoping to get some help. I�... �m forever grateful for Dr. Abbondanza and his team for creating a vision therapy plan for me and teaching me the tools to improve my vision. As with other therapies, vision therapy requires hard work from the patient but having Lynne and Niki as my therapists helped me stay accountable. They encouraged me and were genuinely happy about my weekly progress. Thank you all for what you do, it truly makes a difference.
- Aug. 26, 2023
I am visiting from overseas and ended up with a pretty bad eye infection. Luckily I was able to get ... an appointment with Dr. John Abbondanza right away at the Vision Care Specialists. Everyone there was so friendly and helpful and with the very professional help I received from Dr. John and his assistants, my infection got better very quickly so I could still enjoy my vacation. Thank you very much!! If you are looking for someone who really looks after you, I can really highly recommend the Vision Care Specialists!!
- Aug. 21, 2023
Dr Abbondanza and his team are truly the best. Everyone is extremely hospitable and treats you with ... the most amount of care. They are very diligent with the examinations and follow up. I would recommend VCS to anyone looking for an optometrist office!!
- Jul. 25, 2023
Professional, excellent, compassionate care. Staff are efficient and courteous. Dr. A. was thorough,... took the time to explain what he was doing and what he observed, and made sure any questions I had were answered fully. Highly recommend!
- Jul. 11, 2023
The best most professional Eye Dr services ...
- Oct. 14, 2022
An excellent experience. My daughter was the patient, new to the practice. Everyone was professiona... l and friendly. Her eye exam was quite thorough & Dr. John gave us a complete rundown of his findings and suggestions on how to remediate her visual processing issues. His approach was both detailed and thoughtful and he took time to answer our questions. Recommend this practice highly.
- Feb. 01, 2022
My family and I have been going to this practice for over 15 years and the staff are all incredible.... They are all very friendly and go above and beyond what you would typically expect when visiting the Optometrist. Getting your eyes checked with them is truly an enjoyable experience. When I was younger I saw Dr. Abbondanza for Vision Therapy because I had trouble reading and it made a world of difference for me. For the past several years I have been seeing Dr. Levine for orthokeratology which provides perfect vision for 24 hours a day, without the discomfort that can sometimes accompany daytime lenses. Recently I had an ophthalmological emergency late at night during a blizzard. Dr. Abbondanza worked with me on the phone for several hours while we struggled to find a pharmacy that was open and accessible during the storm. The next day, a Sunday, Dr. Levine met me at his otherwise closed offices in order to examine my eye, and give me more information regarding the issue and treatment. It is rare to find doctors who care so much for their patients and go to such extreme lengths to help them. Even in the event that I moved across the country I could see myself flying home any time I needed to see the eye doctors at VCS.
- Jan. 07, 2022
Dr Levine and Dr Abbondanza are both fantastic. Dr Levine has treated me for years. I have some comp... lex eye issues and have received expert care. He dramatically improved my vision. I have had a few urgent eye concerns, and I was seen promptly. He diagnosed 2 issues that had gone unnoticed by more than 1 neurologist. One thing he picked up may have saved my life. I mean that truly, and as a physician not just a happy patient. Optometry students do rotations and when I asked if it was “just me or does Dr. Levine have more than the usual amount of fancy high tech machines” and one student told me that yes, he does. He said students are eager to come here. I think it’s really cool to see an image of the inside of your eye. As is true for all good doctors/dentists/optomotrists, a new patient appt might take awhile to book as he has lots of repeat patients. It is worth the wait. His office is well run. He has had almost no staff turnover that I have seen. The opticians are top notch - best I have worked with ever. Pricing for glasses is transparent. There are never “secret” or unexpected charges at the time of pick up. The office manager/secretaries are wonderful and the office is very well run. COVID-precaution wise his office procedures are excellent.
- Oct. 20, 2021
Everyone at this office is so kind and helpful! All of my concerns were addressed by Dr. Abbondanza,... and the opticians and receptionists were amazing as well!! Highly recommend this practice!
- Jun. 08, 2021
The explanations of the exam were superb! Taking the time to talk and explain made this the best eye... exam. High points for the carefulness and concern shown
- Jun. 03, 2021
My experience with Dr. John was absolutely delightful! Who knew you could actually enjoy going to th... e eye doctor? His exam of my eyes was the most thorough and comprehensive I have ever received. In addition, he was genuinely kind and explained everything he was doing and seeing in great detail. I recommend this practice without hesitation!
- May. 21, 2021
The best authentic and genuinely pleasant people to be around. Made going to the eye doctor a pleasu... re that I can say I enjoyed and will look forward to and recommend. The doctor was very clear, fun, intelligent, thorough, and skilled at communicating and staying organized. My health was assessed thoroughly and everything was explained very well. The good mood and positive energy is contagious.
- May. 17, 2021
Very Happy with Dr. John and Staff. Exam was very thorough. I did not feel rushed and Dr. John an... swered all my questions and concerns I am so happy to be with Vision Care. Thank you for your excellent service.
- May. 03, 2021
I didn't see an optometrist there. I just went to get a new pair of glasses. The opticians were very... polite and professional and take Covid-19 precautions very seriously.
- Apr. 12, 2021
Dr Levine is truly helping to save my daughter's vision! She started with glasses in preschool and n... ow 4 years later has the vision of someone 4x her age. We are using eye drops at night and a check up every few months to monitor the changes and Dr Levine is right on top of things. Anytime I have a question he takes the time to answer and explain everything to me. I would highly recommend Vision Care Specialists!!
- Oct. 30, 2020
This was my first ever eye exam and glasses buying experience and I must give the folks at Vision Ca... re Specialist a AAA+++ rating. Dr. Levine and the staff I interacted with were all great. They made me feel very comfortable and answered all my questions without hesitation. After the exam, they worked with me to find just the right frames. Even ordering a pair in an alternative color for me to try on, only for me to pick yet another pair that caught my eye when I went back to see them. I can't wait to pick them up. They do take their Covid precautions seriously, but everything is well thought out and I again felt very safe and comfortable during both visits. I would most definitely recommend them to family and friends and you.
- Oct. 27, 2020
My daughter was referred to Dr. Abbondanza after my sister-in-law (also an optometrist) had noticed... she was having some tracking issues. She was evaluated and a very thorough and comprehensive vision therapy plan was put in place. The team and Vision Care Specialist was amazing and everyone there was supportive and encouraging. During the tail end of her treatment, we were all put into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. VCS communicated their plan throughout the entire time. Not wanting her to miss her last few session (she was SO close to finishing) they organized online sessions with Dr. Abbondanza so my daughter would stay on track. Her follow up evaluation went great and I have seen a noticeable improvement in her reading skills and comprehension as well as her self confidence! She was a good student to begin with, but as the material gets more difficult and dense I feel she now has to tools to keep up with her studies. Thanks to Dr. Abbondanza and his team at VCS!
- Sep. 23, 2020
This place is amazing. I have been going to see Dr Abbondanza for 10+ years. He is really passiona... te about what he does and is excellent at his job--always gets complicated issues right on the first try. I moved over an hour away and I still came back to see him. During Covid, his team has gone out of their way to help me. I needed new glasses but because of underlying health conditions, I couldn't come into the building to pick out new frames. Working with Kristin in the optical dept, she was open to figuring out how to get me a new pair, which included coming out to my car to get an ancient pair of glasses out of my trunk, taking them back to the office to do measurements, and bringing them down again. She researched to get me an almost exact same frame and had them sent to me. Amazing. These are trying times and I can't thank them enough for helping me out of a tough spot. I am forever in their debt. You won't go wrong by using them. They are good, good people.
- Sep. 05, 2020
Very thorough and professional eye exam. The doctor really worked with me to make sure my glasses wo... uld work for me. Knowledgeable and helpful opticians.
- Aug. 04, 2020
This place is amazing. I tried to get contacts five previous times and I failed each time. This plac... e was successful.

View All 53 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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