Macular degeneration usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms. It is the major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?
The main early symptom is blurring of central vision despite using your usual glasses. Another specific early symptom to be aware of is visual distortion or a ‘blind spot’ that then develops in the middle of your visual field.
What are the causes of macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is caused by a number of factors including, but not limited to, age, genetics, and increased oxidative stress on the eye. Specific risk factors include race, exposure to sunlight, diets high in saturated fats and cholesterol, little exercise, vascular disease, and high blood pressure.
How is macular degeneration treated?
Over the last decade, there has been tremendous advancement in the management of wet AMD due to the introduction of intraocular injections which are performed at the office under local anesthesia. With treatment at the appropriate time, not only can vision loss be stopped, it can be often reversed. Therefore, it is critical to be evaluated at the earlier sign of symptoms and also get regular checkups since there may not be symptoms early on.