What Is Macular Degeneration?

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Do you suffer from age-related macular degeneration? Also called AMD for short, it is a common eye disease that can develop with age.

Over time, the disease impairs your central vision causing it to lose clarity. Your central vision is necessary for distinguishing shapes, objects, and colors.

When your central vision is impaired, it becomes difficult to make out faces across the room. With impaired central vision, it can make driving unsafe and reading harder than usual.

Keep reading to learn more about age-related macular degeneration!

AMD is the Leading Cause of Blindness in Americans Over 60

AMD affects the part of your eye that brings fine details into focus. This part of your eye is called the macula.

As your macula begins to wear down, your vision becomes less clear and sharp. It can come on so slowly that many patients don’t notice any change in their vision at first.

For other patients, the disease comes on quickly and causes a drastic change in vision. AMD can lead to vision loss in both eyes.

It is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans who are 60 years old or older. Call your eye doctor right away if you experience a sudden loss of clarity in your vision.

You will need to undergo a comprehensive eye exam. AMD occurs in two forms: exudative and non-exudative.

Exudative AMD

Exudative AMD, also called wet AMD, occurs in the retina and behind the retina. Abnormal blood vessels begin to grow behind your retina and under your macula.

These new, abnormal blood vessels are weaker than healthy blood vessels. These blood vessels begin to leak blood and other fluid.

This fills the space around the macula, causing the macula in your eye to rise and resettle. Due to the macula moving to a different location, it causes damage to your macula.

Exudative AMD can cause excessive and rapid damage to your macula. As your macula becomes more impaired, your central vision becomes increasingly worse.

Exudative AMD can lead to almost total loss of central vision in one or both eyes. Straight lines that appear wavy are an indication of wet AMD.

Contact your eye doctor right away if you experience this symptom. You will need a comprehensive eye exam.

Non-Exudative AMD

Non-exudative AMD occurs due to a breakdown of light-sensitive cells in your macula. This impairs your central vision, making it blurry and less clear.

This is also called dry AMD as it does not stem from fluid buildup. For many patients, dry AMD comes on slowly and gets worse over time.

At first, you may experience only slightly blurred vision. It becomes difficult to recognize faces, or distinguish shapes and colors.

As the disease worsens and your macula loses more of its functionality, it will become more challenging to drive, read, or watch television.

Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but you may only experience vision loss in one eye.

Are you experiencing a loss of clarity in your vision? It may be age-related macular degeneration.

The only way to diagnose the disease is to have a comprehensive eye exam. Schedule yours today with Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY!

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