Macular degeneration

preventing macular degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a progressive eye disease. Which means, it gets worse over time. It leads to severe and permanent vision loss in people above the age of 60. While the exact cause for macular degeneration is unknown, it is believed that a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, diet, and smoking can cause the condition to develop as the eye ages.

Macular degeneration usually occurs in both eyes, but that does not mean that the disease progresses at the same pace in both eyes.
Macular degeneration is of two types – dry or atrophic macular degeneration, and wet or neovascular/exudative macular degeneration.

Dry macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of AMD, with around 80% to 90% of macular degeneration cases of the dry type. Degeneration might advance and turn into the wet type.

In this form of AMD, the photosensitive cells of the macula break down very slowly. Drusen (a yellow protein and an extracellular metabolic waste product) forms and collects just under the retina. Drusen lead to deterioration of the macula. During the early stages of the disease, you might experience blurring of straight vision. As the condition worsens and more and more drusen collect, you will notice your central vision worsening.

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is a less common type of AMD, with around 10% to 20% of macular degeneration cases of the wet type. Wet AMD develops when new abnormal blood vessels grow just behind the macula, beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This causes permanent damage to the retinal cells. As the retinal cells die off, they leave blind spots in the central vision.

Treatment for macular degeneration

There is no cure for macular degeneration, but studies have shown that nutritional intervention can slow down the progression of the condition. Treatment for wet macular degeneration includes FDA-approved medication. Vision aids and laser therapy can help.

Protect your eyes from dry macular degeneration. Wear sunglasses with UV protection filters, eat healthy, and exercise.

Signs and symptoms of macular degeneration

  • Macular degeneration occurs gradually and there is a slow and painless loss of vision.
  • The first sign of macular degeneration that you might notice is a change in the quality of the straight-line vision and the progressive worsening of your central vision (crooked central vision).
  • Dark or blurry areas begin to appear in the center of your vision.
  • Change in the perception of color and the decrease in the intensity of color might occur.
  • A need for brighter light when reading
  • In the case of advanced macular degeneration, there are visual hallucinations.

Scheduling your consultation

If you are unhappy with your vision or notice changes in your vision, we can help diagnose and treat your eye condition. Advanced Vision Care is a private practice in Los Angeles, California. We provide quality care and support. We pride ourselves on being early adopters of state-of-art techniques and surgeries with a very high success rate.

Some of our specialties include the treatment of cataracts, LASIK procedures, treatment of cornea and glaucoma.

Give us a call and we can arrange a consultation with one of our specialists, just for you.

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