Have you heard of macular degeneration? Did you know that it is the main cause of blindness in Americans?
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness for adults who are 65 and older in the United States. Most people are unaware of macular degeneration or that it is the leading cause of blindness.
Keep reading to learn more about macular degeneration and if it’s something you only get when you’re older!
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is also known as age-related macular degeneration. People develop macular degeneration when the macula in the retina undergoes degeneration.
The macula is the small area in the back of the eye called the retina. It lets you see small details and perform your favorite activities. For example, affected activities include reading and driving.
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?
There are many symptoms connected with macular degeneration. Signs and symptoms include developing blurry vision, seeing dark spots and losing central vision in your eyes.
Macular degeneration affects your ability to see objects near and far and enjoy specific activities. Macular degeneration can make it impossible to read, sew, or drive.
Macular degeneration does not impact your peripheral vision, only your central vision. You could see the person sitting next to you on the bus, but not the person in the row in front of you if you have macular degeneration.
Even adults with more serious cases of macular degeneration can still see some things and continue to live their life. Most patients with macular degeneration only experience minimal effects.
Are there different types of macular degeneration?
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration.
Dry AMD is the most common type of macular degeneration. Over half of the patients diagnosed with macular degeneration have dry AMD.
Dry AMD causes your macula to deteriorate. This can give you blurry vision in your central vision and/or blind spots. Also, it can develop into wet AMD.
Wet AMD occurs when blood vessels develop under the retina causing blood and fluid to get in the macula. This can cause your vision to become distorted.
It may make lines look wavy instead of straight. Once you develop symptoms, it develops rapidly. You will lose your vision faster than with dry macular degeneration.
Can you prevent macular degeneration from developing?
The best way to prevent and diagnose macular degeneration is by having regular eye exams. This will help you diagnose it early on and prevent it from getting worse.
Early diagnosis is important if you want to save your remaining vision and prevent blindness.
There are many risk factors tied to macular degeneration, but the main one is age. Due to age, you become more likely to develop macular degeneration.
For this reason, it’s important to see your eye doctor as recommended. Before the age of 65, this is every other year unless you wear glasses or contacts. After the age of 65, you should see your eye doctor for an eye exam every year.
Do any of the symptoms associated with macular degeneration sound familiar? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Manhattan to keep your eyes healthy today!