Macular degeneration is an eye disease that occurs when the macular, which is the central part of your retina, wears down. The retina is a nerve tissue at the back of your eyes that senses light. Macular degeneration can eventually lead to severe vision problems and even vision loss. If you are over 60 years old, you are even more likely to experience this condition, though it can arise in patients of any age. It is essential to identify the types of symptoms, causes, and treatment for macular degeneration for proper eye care.
Two Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two main types of macular degeneration.
Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Non-Exudative AMD)
Dry AMD is the most common form of macular degeneration. When protein accumulates in the macular, causing your retinal cells to lose function, the full stop of the protein deposits is known as drusen.
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Exudative AMD)
Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels in the retina leak blood or fluids into the back of the eye. It causes a more significant vision loss compared to dry AMD and comes on more quickly. This form of macular degeneration can lead to sudden vision loss.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Symptoms of macular degeneration include:
- Shadowy parts in your central vision
- Distorted or fuzzy vision
- Distorted or wavy words when reading
- Difficulty seeing details when lighting conditions are poor or with glare sensitivity.
It is hard to notice the symptoms of macular degeneration when they are present are more dominant in one eye. You should visit an optometrist for regular eye exams and when you notice the symptoms of macular degeneration.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
The following are the risk factors of macular degeneration:
- Gender (it is more prevalent in women than men)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Inactivity and obesity
Research shows that aging and smoking are the most consistent risk factors for macular degeneration.
Macular Degeneration Treatment
Macular degeneration has no cure. However, some treatments can delay progression and prevent vision loss. Treatment for macular degeneration will vary depending on the variant of your condition. Nutritional supplements which antioxidant victims help to minimize the risk of progression of dry AMD to wet AMD. The treatment for wet AMD usually includes preventing fluid leakage into the retina by shrinking or stopping the abnormal growth of blood vessels. It features the use of medications like Avastin and laser procedures.
Schedule an Eye Exam with Our Secane, PA
For more information on macular degeneration or to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist, call Gregg Family Eye Care today at (610) 543-1219.