Macular degeneration is an eye condition characterized by deterioration of the macula and concomitant decrease of vision. There are several types of the disorder. The most common is age-related macular degeneration, but there are congenital forms, seen in younger people.
In the early stages, the disease does not showcase any signs and symptoms. The following are the signs and symptoms of macular degeneration :
At the preliminary level, a thorough examination of the eyes will be carried out. With the help of eye drops, the pupils will be dilated which will aid in better examination. In addition, the following tests will be carried out to diagnose the type of macular degeneration that has set in :
Severe and advanced cases of macular degeneration cannot be cured. However, if the disease has been diagnosed in the early stages, then with the help of medications, supplements and therapies, the progression can be slowed down, but the lost vision cannot be restored. The following methods are employed for treating macular degeneration:
Macular degeneration never causes loss of peripheral vision. This further indicates that complete vision loss never sets in. The loss of central vision that occurs makes driving, reading and recognizing faces difficult for the affected individuals. With treatment, individuals can carry out the daily tasks with ease.
The exact cause behind development of macular degeneration is not known. However, several risk factors have been identified. These include :
It has been estimated that age-related macular degeneration is the 3rd most common cause of blindness across the globe. Amongst the industrialized nations, it is considered to be the leading cause of blindness . Statistics have also reported that in the year 2030, about 6.3 millions individuals of US will develop macular degeneration. Of the two types of macular degeneration, 85 to 90% cases account for the dry type; whereas 10 to 15% of cases are of wet type .
Anatomically, 3 major layers are situated at the back of the eye. These include the retina, choroid and sclera. Damage to the retina causes vision loss, which in the central region of the visual field is known as macula. Such an event induces development of macular degeneration.
Wet form of macular degeneration sets in when blood vessels from the choroid layer grow behind the retina. As a result, the retina becomes detached, causing vision loss. It is a more severe form of macular degeneration than the dry form .
Following a healthy lifestyle, can to a certain extent, help in prevention of macular degeneration. Maintaining a healthy weight, and eating healthy diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, would help keep chronic disease at bay, which would eventually prevent the onset of macular degeneration. Individuals are also advised to avoid smoking, and alcohol consumption, which are risk factors of macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is a condition characterized by loss of central vision due to damage of the retina. Such a condition makes reading and writing difficult for the affected individuals. It is a common phenomenon amongst the older adults, and therefore the condition is also referred to as age-related macular degeneration . However, there have been instances, when younger individuals too fall prey to the condition, and in such cases, the condition can be congenital macular degeneration. There are 2 types of macular degeneration – wet and dry.
Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder, characterized by central loss of vision, due to damage to the retina. Such a type of condition, however, in rare cases, causes complete loss of vision. Affected individuals find difficulty in reading and recognizing faces.
The exact factor that causes macular degeneration is unknown. However, several risk factors such as smoking, heredity, alcohol abuse, oxidative stress and chronic degenerative diseases, increase the chances of developing macular degeneration.
Blurred vision is a classical symptom of macular degeneration. In addition, individuals also experience difficulty in driving, reading, differentiating colors and recognizing faces.
Diagnosis is made by preliminary examination of the eye, with the help of drops to dilate the pupil. Following this, several other tests such as amsler grid test, fundus photography, optical coherence tomography and fluorescein angiogram are also carried out.
A combination of treatment regime is employed to effectively manage the condition. Lost vision cannot be restored, and goal of treatment is, to effectively use the remaining vision. Vitamin and mineral supplements are given along with laser surgery or photodynamic therapy.