While there are many debilitating diseases that can compromise an individual’s ability to lead a powerful and productive life, macular degeneration can be a particularly difficult condition to grapple with. In short, macular degeneration is a medical condition in which an individual experiences loss of vision in the macula, as a result of retina damage. By learning more about the condition, you and your loved ones can gain the information necessary to exercise preventive measures or preclude it from having a negative effect on your life. Here are six things you need to know about the condition:
There are two main types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is a chronic eye condition which causes you to lose vision in your macula, which is the center of the individual’s field of vision. It results from the macula’s deterioration. Wet macular degeneration results when blood vessels grow under the retina in the back of the eye and thus leak fluid and blood.
2. Signs And Symptoms
There are a wide variety of signs that can indicate the presence of macular degeneration, and some of them include drusen, pigmentary alterations, atrophy, and drastic decrease of visual acuity. Other signs include intraretinal fluid, blurred vision, missing regions of vision, trouble discerning colors, loss in contrast sensitivity, and slow recovery of one’s visual abilities following bright light exposure.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the development of macular degeneration, and the most common is age. About 10% of patients between the ages of 66 and 74 will show evidence of macular degeneration. Additionally, 30% of patients between the ages of 75 and 85 years old will have findings of the condition. Other causes include family history, given that an individual’s risk of acquiring late-stage forms of macular degeneration is 50% for individuals who have a family member with the condition, as opposed to 12% for those who don’t.
4. Risk Factors
There are several risk factors which can precipitate macular degeneration, and some of them include high blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol, and eating certain fats. Race is also a risk factor for macular degeneration, as Caucasians are more likely than those of African descent to acquire the disease.
Having regular eye exams is one of the most important things you can do to find out if you have the disease, because early treatment will help greatly. You should also stop smoking, exercise regularly, and eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
There are a variety of treatments for macular degeneration, including anti-angiogenesis drugs that preclude the development of new blood vessels as well as leakage from abnormal vessels in the eye. Other effective forms of treatment include macular degeneration vitamins, laser therapy, and low vision aids.
Although macular degeneration can be a difficult condition to grapple with, learning more about it can provide you with the information necessary to either prevent its onset or preclude it from becoming a problem in your life.