Age-related Macular Degeneration - Dr. Trina Cheng

ImageRotarian Trina Cheng, OD, alerted our group to a specific eye condition that may, some day, impact someone in our club … Macular Degeneration. Her first slide was a photo of the interior of the eye showing just where this condition occurs. It is essentially a cellular breakdown of an area of the eye called the Macula where detailed vision is located.

Risk Factors      The number one risk factor is age … and the condition is often referred to as AMD, Age-related Macular Degeneration. It typically occurs in people older than sixty years of age. Women are also more susceptible to this disease and there is a correlation to race: Caucasians have a higher incidence than other racial groups. Smokers and people with heart disease as well as those who have AMD in their family history are also at higher risk


Detection      A professional eye examination is needed for confirmation but there are several symptoms that may indicate the presence of the disease. People with AMD will experience blurred vision or the existence of a gray spot in their field of vision. Trina gave us all a quick test using an Amsler Grid. The grid is uniform with a single dot in the middle but may look like the above distorted image if Macular Degeneration exists.

There are two types of Macular Degeneration; Dry and Wet. Ninety percent of the cases are classified as “Dry” with vision loss being not very severe. The “Wet” form of the disease is more severe. Wet refers to the fact that bleeding is involved.

Treatment      There is no good treatment for Dry AMD; although a special vitamin formula for the disease is helpful. There are a number of treatment options for Wet AMD including Laser photocoagulation and Photo Dynamic therapy.

Prevention      Avoid exposure to UV light, eat a healthy diet, control your weight, don’t smoke … and go to Trina for regular eye exams.

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Trina was born in Santa Clara, California and knew at an early age that she would be in the health care field. She earned her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in Integrated Biology and ultimately went on to earn her Doctor of Optometry (OD) from Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton.

She and her husband, Jason, found their way to Arizona where Trina worked for several optometry practices around the valley. That’s where Trina met her business partner … and fellow Rotarian … Lars Carlson. She and Lars purchased Gold Canyon Eye Center in 2008. Trina has been married for 7 years and the most important part of her life is her two children … Logan (5) and Kayleigh (3).