What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is an age-related condition and is the most common cause of vision loss in people 55 and older. The macula, the center of vision in the retina, is damaged as the disease develops. Decreased function of the central retina occurs with macular degeneration, causing vision to become hazy or blurry. Straight lines may appear wavy; objects may appear as the wrong shape or size, and it may become increasingly difficult to see objects up close.
Forms Of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can occur in two different forms, either “wet” or “dry”.
Dry Macular Degeneration (non-neovascular)
The dry type, the most common form, occurs when the tissue in the macula thins and ceases to function properly.
Wet Macular Degeneration (neovascular)
The wet type occurs when blood vessels grow and leak, causing swelling and scarring, which can lead to a loss of central vision.
macular degeneration Causes
Macular degeneration is an age-related condition and worsens as age increases. Other factors such as smoking, family history, gender, and high cholesterol may accelerate the condition.
What Can Be Done To Help My Macular Degeneration?
Currently there is no cure for macular degeneration, but there are certain treatments available to slow or stop the progression of the disease. Changes in diet and vitamin intake may slow dry macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration can be treated through laser treatments and photodynamic therapy; both designed to close off the blood vessels causing the wet macular degeneration. Patients may regain a little vision through these treatments, but once vision is lost it is very hard to restore.