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Macular Degeneration

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What You Ought To Know

The central portion of your retina is known as macula and with the presence of yellow deposits beneath it, the macular begins to degenerate. This yellow deposit is known as drusen. Being the most sensitive part of a human’s retina, millions of light-sensing cells come together to form the macula and in turn, help you to maintain very sharp and central vision. With any type of damage to the macular, you begin to have blurry, dark, or distorted vision. According to various research, this eye problem affects over 10 million people in the US. It is also said to take the lead when it comes to causes of vision loss, far more than glaucoma and cataracts put together.

Although macular degeneration does not cause total loss of vision, suffering from this eye ailment can inhibit you from carrying out some of your important daily activities. It considerably reduces your ability to see clearly while driving, reading, cooking, typing, or even properly recognize faces you have always known. While some people experience the macular degeneration in one eye, others go on to experience it in both eyes, with one eye being more affected than the other.

Risk Factors Of Macular Degeneration

There are several factors that lead to macular degeneration and include the following:

  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Weight
  • Presence of Cardiovascular disease

It is also indicated that macular degeneration comes in two different types – Dry and Wet. If left untreated, the dry macular degeneration usually leads to wet macular degeneration which is very severe and causes rapid degeneration.

Early Detection Is The Key

With macular degeneration, there are scant symptoms, especially at the early stage. This is why it is always important to go for professional eye check-ups every now and then, especially if you have any health issues or there is a history of eye problems in your family. At the early stage of macular degeneration, it can only be detected through a routine eye check since there is no vision loss yet. At the intermediate stage, there is the possibility of slight vision loss while at the late stage, the vision loss becomes very noticeable.

Symptoms Of Macular Degeneration

There are certain symptoms of macular degeneration which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Inability to maintain central vision in the eyes (one or both)
  • The presence of blurry spot in any field of vision
  • Inability to differentiate between colors
  • Some level of haziness in vision

Although this eye disease is known to be common in seniors who are 65 years or older, if you are 50 or older and you have any of the above listed symptoms, it is important that you let your eye physician know about it. While there is no definite cure for macular degeneration, there are certain treatments and procedures that are known to inhibit or slow down its progression. You should also expect to undergo multiple treatments since some treated blood vessels tend to re-grow after some time. Have your eyes examined as soon as possible, especially if you think some of the mentioned symptoms and risk factors apply to you.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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