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Macular Degeneration

What is the Condition?

Macular degeneration is a disease that causes the central vision; which we require for reading, writing, and driving; to become hazy. It can severely impair an individual’s vision by deteriorating their eye’s retina. This eye disease is common in people who are over 60 –years-old.

How does it Affect the Eye?

Also known as age-related macular degeneration, this condition is characterized by retinal deterioration and affects the macula; the area responsible for all the fine details that you can see.

How Many Types of Macular Degeneration are there?

There are two types of macular degeneration:

 

Wet Macular Degeneration:

This is not very common but causes more damage to the person’s eyesight. In wet macular degeneration, several blood vessels (that tend to leak) grow right behind the macula. Over time, if left untreated, these blood vessels could leave behind scars.

Dry Macular Degeneration:

This is more common when compared to wet macular degeneration. Some of these cases turn into wet macular degeneration cases over time. In dry macular degeneration, the tissues of the macula become thin and do not function as well as before.

What are the Symptoms of this Condition?

The symptoms include the following:

  • Patient cannot see objects clearly
  • There seems to be a dark center in the person’s central vision
  • You cannot tell colors very clearly
  • Vision gets distorted and straight lines often appear wavy
  • Viewing things up close and reading becomes difficult
What are the Risk Factors for Developing this Condition?

Some of the risk factors associated with macular degeneration include:

  • Blue wavelengths from the sun
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Artificial fats
  • Hypertension
  • Advanced age
  • Family with a history of macular degeneration
How is this Condition Treated?

Both wet and dry macular degeneration have their own form of treatment. However, both rely heavily on regular eye examinations and an eye care professional to study scans taken of your retina to figure out how healthy it is for each eye.

Wet Macular Degeneration Treatment

Photodynamic therapy and laser therapy are some of the treatments available for wet macular degeneration. These seal the blood vessels that leak, stopping or slowing the effect that they have on the retina.

Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment

Unfortunately, once the retinal tissue is affected, there is nothing that could be done to reverse dry macular degeneration. Certain vitamin supplements are prescribed to patients, but in general, there seems to be no treatment for this condition yet, only a way to stop it from progressing further.