Macular Degeneration Information

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in individuals over 65.

With regular annual exams you can detect it as soon as possible.

What is a Macular degeneration?

It’s the degeneration is the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, known as the macula. This area of the eye is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye. It controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see in fine detail. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in individuals over age 65.

Macular degeneration affects both distance and close vision. It reduces vision in the central part of the retina. However it does not affect the eye’s side, or peripheral, vision. Macular degeneration alone doesn’t result in total blindness. People continue to have some useful vision and are able to care for themselves.

There are two forms of macular degeneration:

“Dry” macular degeneration (atrophic)

This is the most common form. It is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula with gradual vision loss. Despite ongoing medical research, there are no FDA-approved treatments for “dry” macular degeneration. Some recommend nutritional supplements as a way to slow down macular degeneration. However these have not yet been proven to be effective. Your doctor will focus treatment on helping you find practical ways to cope with visual impairment.

“Wet” macular degeneration (exudative)

This is a less common form, yet typically more damaging. It results when abnormal blood vessels form at the back of the eye and leak fluid or blood which blurs central vision. Vision loss can be more rapid and severe. In some instances, the dry type of macular degeneration can progress into the wet type.

Who gets macular degeneration and what are the symptoms?

Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive deterioration of the central regions of the retina known as the macula. Vision is affected as the tissue ceases to function properly.

Macular degeneration affects different regions of the macula from person to person, so the symptoms tend to vary. The condition may be hardly noticeable in the earlier stages. Symptoms often associated with macular degeneration include:

  • A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
  • A gradual loss of clear correct colors
  • Vision that is noticeably distorted
  • Straight lines appear wavy
  • A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision
  • Difficulty reading or seeing objects up closeThese symptoms may not necessarily mean that you have macular degeneration. However, if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, contact us for a complete exam.

What treatment options are recommended for macular degeneration?

In all stages of macular degeneration, antioxidant therapy would appear to have a role in slowing the progression of the degeneration. There are antioxidant vitamins that have been investigated by the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study). These taken one to four times a day may slow the progression of some forms of macular degeneration by nearly 40%.

Dietary additions such as fish, especially the oily fish eaten twice a week, have shown in some studies to slow the progression as much as 38%. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and fruits such as blueberries and prunes, have been shown to be very high in antioxidants and specifically lutein, and play a role in slowing the progression of macular degeneration. The yellow squash and carrots may play a role. All of these dietary changes would be those recommended for patients of any age, and especially in those in whom a family history of macular degeneration is present.

The first step is a medical evaluation to determine if you have macular degeneration. It will include an examination of your eye and a simple vision test.

Dry age-related macular degeneration is the aging process in the retina of the eye. At the present time, there is nothing that has been found to stop this progression. As mentioned above, nutritional supplements may slow it down and keep vision better longer.

Revolutionary advances in the past recent years have dramatically improved the outlook on wet macular degeneration. In the past we were limited to straight forward laser therapy that often left the visual acuity worse after laser than before but destroyed the blood vessels creating the bleeding or leakage. We now have an array of treatments possible, including intraocular injections and light cold laser therapies that have substantially improved the long-term prognosis of these eyes. Though they require repeated visits and re-injection, they often can result in mild improvements in visual acuity and stabilization of the wet macular degeneration to the level that was present before the blood vessels developed.

For many of these therapies you may be referred to a retinal specialist whose specialty is dealing with just this type of problem.

What Our Clients Are Saying

My appointments were long, but you explained what was going on and I appreciate your taking the time to help me understand my options. I feel good that I made the right choices and also about my vision. I think it is in good care with you. Thank you very much.

Esther Spanos

I was impressed by the professionalism of the office staff from check in to exams to checkout. At my cataract surgeries I felt safe and secure in their procedures. Dr Spaulding performed my surgeries and I would recommend him to anyone needing the services he offers. He was both personable and professional.

Jan Brown

This place is filled with staff who values everyone who walks into their office. They take their time to show every patient the same level of excellence care and service. As response to the negative comments, I for one don't want anyone rushing to get me out the door, without full proper correction of what ever brought me in to their office. The office management, Janice and Paula have always been friendly and make sure that they have had great staff to provide only the best.

Rea Riggs

I can't rave enough about the amazing Dr. Rutar. I deeply respect and admire her skill and knowledge. I had strabismus (eye muscle) surgery done by Dr. Rutar February 2018. I'm 32 and my left eye has been "lazy" my whole life, due to an underdeveloped muscle. More than a year later, my eyes are still aligned. The incisions healed beautifully and my depth perception is spot on. You'd never know what my eyes have been though and I'll be scheduling an appointment for contacts soon. If you're considering this surgery, as scary may seem, I urge you to push through that fear. It was well worth it. My life has changed for the better because of it. Telling Dr. Rutar, "thank you" - will never be enough.

Bethany Lang

I had a great experience here. I was greeted promptly and treated courteously. Dr Spaulding and his staff were amazing. The length of my visit was to be expected for visiting a doctors office. I would not change a thing with the experience. Thank you!!!

Jamie Hay

The entire experience was impressive! The prep nurses were great and the surgery was not a problem because I was put under and can’t remember anything.???? Dr. Spaulding did a great job! I’m very thankful and Blessed to have my sight back.

Ditson Hendricks

I could not be more pleased by the treatment I received from Dr. Rutar and her staff. She performed two cataract surgeries for me and each time she carefully explained all the options and risks along with the likely outcomes. I was completely confident in her approach, as well as in her staff, who are very pleasant and professional.

Lee Baldwin

It is easier for me to find a Ruby than a doctor like Tina. She loves her job and her patients.


The level of professionalism, kindness and care given to me before, during and after my Cataract surgery was excellent. Given the public's concern over the C-virus every preventative measure of protection was taken. The prep and recovery nurses made sure I was comfortable & remained calm before and following the surgery. Dr. Spaulding’s surgery technique is perfection.


1 one of the most professional office i seen. Very clean. Appointment on time. Staff very nice.

ECB Klamath

Dr. Rutar has a kind, gentle, positive manner in which she cares for my condition. She is honest & thorough. Thank you!


I’ve purchased two pairs of prescription Oakleys from the optical shop here, one sunglasses and the other progressives. They had an excellent selection of both high-end and budget frames and Gary and Jenny were very helpful in choosing and fitting the frames. Both sets of glasses turned out great—amazingly clear and comfortable! Highly recommended!

Martin Stadtmueller

Dr. Rutar, you and your staff need to know that you could easily become the model of how your type of center should be run. There is such a strong feeling of caring from the staff, to the examination, to the nurses, and of course, to you Dr. Rutar.

One of the key attributes about your is that you always tell your patient what you are doing before you do it. I like that. I sure appreciate your working with me on various key points.

I know this world is a better place having you as a physician. I appreciate you and all your hard work and dedication to your patients.


Had debris in my eyes. Didn't think I flushed it all out. They got me in within a couple hours of calling and checked my eyes out for me. Very Professional and friendly staff. Highly recommend them. Thank you Dr. Barrus 🙂

Yancy Savage

Other than some billing issues I am more than pleased with my results. Dr. Rutar made the experience safe and easy. Thank you.

H Bruce Smith

I was very impressed with Dr Rutar. She immediately ordered the proper blood tests to diagnose my rare disease. It was missed by other physicians for over 5 years. It's great to finally know!

Leann Z.

Terry and Wendy (in the surgery center) were WONDERFUL, PROFESSIONAL, and explained everything to me. They are amazing at what they do. I highly recommend the office. It is a caring environment with friendly staff. My first surgery was done at another location and they did not give me discharge instructions. Here they not only gave me the instructions, but took the time to explain it all to me. Thank you again for a great experience!!!

Henry Harold