Macular degeneration is an age-related condition that causes loss of central vision. While the condition worsens with age, catching it early can help to slow its progress with a variety of treatment plans.
The macular is a small part at the center of the retina, so it is responsible for central, pinpoint, and detailed vision. When it is damaged, you can experience sight distortion (straight lines appear wavy), blurring, fuzziness, and shadows. Macular degeneration is the biggest cause of severe eyesight loss for people over 50.
There are two types of macular degeneration.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), affecting over 80% of those with the condition. While its exact cause is unknown, dry AMD causes light-sensitive cells in the macular to break down and form protein deposits called drusin.
Dry macular degeneration happens gradually, starting with one eye. It is linked to factors such as genetics, diet, smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure. There is no cure for dry AMD, but an early diagnosis can help you slow it down with treatment and lifestyle changes.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is rarer but more severe than dry AMD. It results from the growth of abnormal growth of blood vessels beneath the retina, which can leak fluid and blood. Wet AMD creates a large blind spot in the macula and leads to a more severe loss of vision.
Wet macular degeneration is treatable, especially when caught early.
Macular Degeneration Diagnosis
Both types of macular degeneration have no symptoms until vision impairment becomes serious. There is no pain or discomfort, so only regular eye checkups can help catch AMD early.
Ophthalmologists use several methods to catch AMD, including vision tests and eye scans. One of the most common tests is the Amsler grid, which your ophthalmologist can help you carry out regularly on your own.
If you have any questions or suspect that you have macular degeneration, get in touch with us now, and let’s get you in touch with a specialist.