Macular degeneration is the gradual loss of vision in the central visual field due to the breakdown of cells that make up the macula. The macula is a small area at the center of your retina that is responsible for clear vision, particularly in your direct line of sight. Macular degeneration is the major cause of visual impairment in adults above 50 years old.
There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. The less severe type, dry macular degeneration, occurs when the retinal pigment epithelial layer under the retina wastes away, which results in loss of vision through the loss of photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the central part of the eye. Cellular debris called drusen, accumulates in the eye. Drusen is the key to identifying the dry type.
Wet macular degeneration is the more severe type of MD. It occurs when there is an abnormal growth of blood vessels which leads to the loss of vision. Wet macular degeneration usually progresses from the dry type. However, only 10% of patients with macular degeneration have the wet type.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration symptoms develop gradually. The condition may affect one eye or both eyes. This condition is not painful at all and this condition may be undiagnosed for some time. If only one eye is affected, visual changes are unnoticeable because the good eye compensates for the weak one.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
The exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown, but there are factors that put you at risk for the condition. The following is a list of predisposing factors for macular degeneration:
Other risk factors include smoking, obesity, hypertension, elevated blood cholesterol level and early menopause.
What to Do When You Have Macular Degeneration
You should immediately let your ophthalmologist know when you notice any changes in your vision especially when these changes are consistent with the symptoms of MD. Unfortunately, there is no treatment available to reverse MD. Treatment only delays visual deterioration. It cannot restore vision. However, MD often progresses slowly. Annual eye exams may be necessary to see how the condition is progressing.
You may also have to make some dietary changes. Including fruits and vegetables in your diet will contribute to your eye health. Colorful fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that prevent cell damage. Healthy unsaturated fats, such as olive and palm oil, may reduce the risk of vision loss. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna may help protect your eyesight. Be sure to avoid smoking and manage your weight by eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise.
Aids For Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is not life-threatening. However, it does threaten to reduce your quality of life. This condition affects your central vision which you need for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. Fortunately, there are some vision aids for macular degeneration that can help you function to the best of your ability and maintain your independence. Here are some aids for Macular Degeneration that can help improve your quality of life:
– When you suffer from MD, it does not mean that you have to give up reading the books you love or to miss out on the new bestsellers from your favorite authors. There are reading devices that scan printed text and convert it to speech.
Macular degeneration is a progressive, irreversible loss of vision that could lead to blindness. However, you need not despair if you suffer from MD. There are treatments that can significantly slow down the deterioration of your eyesight. With dietary and lifestyle adjustments and with the right vision aids for macular degeneration, it is possible for you to live a relatively normal and productive life.Tags: 5 diopter, eyesight problems, flourescent lamp, LED, lumen output, macular degeneration, magnifying lamp, promagnify