Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes loss of vision in the center field of vision. Macular degeneration can make it difficult to recognize faces, read or drive a car but enough of the peripheral (side) vision remains to allow other daily activities.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
There are few early signs of macular degeneration, which is why it is important to have your eyes examined regularly the older you get. Some symptoms you might experience include blurred or dark areas in the center of vision, a diminished color perception, or wavy appearance to straight lines.
Most patients do not experience any symptoms until the intermediate of macular degeneration. Some patients might start to see blurred spots in the center of their vision or require more light to read. Once the patient has advanced macular degeneration, they will experience a larger blurred or distorted spot in the center of vision that will eventually get bigger and darken, affecting a large area of your straight-ahead vision.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Americans 60 and older. The disease causes cells in the macula to die. There are two types of age-related macular degeneration – dry and wet. Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula causing them to leak blood and fluid. Dry macular degeneration occurs when light-sensitive cells start to slowly break down.
Macular Degeneration Treatments
Treatment of macular degeneration can slow vision loss but cannot restore it. Preventive measures include the following:
- Taking certain vitamin supplements
- Injecting anti-angiogenic drugs into the eye to block new blood vessels from developing
- Laser therapy to destroy actively growing abnormal blood vessels
- Photodynamic laser therapy, a two-step treatment, to absorb abnormal blood vessels
If you have symptoms of macular degeneration or have a family history of this disease and would like to make an appointment, please contact Retina Consultants of Alabama.
Call to schedule an appointment today 1-800-575-4314.