WHAT IS IT?
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness, affecting more than 10 million Americans, more than glaucoma and cataracts combined. This ocular condition is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the Retina, known as the macula. The Macula is responsible for focusing central vision, the ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and seeing fine details. This is a common ocular condition for patients over the age of 50.
There are many things that can cause macular degeneration. Including, age, smoking, family history, prolonged sun exposure, diet, high blood pressure, obesity, and inactivity.
Patients first experience no symptoms, then blurry vision, and if it worsens, they can lose their central vision.
- A blurred or “fuzzy” vision
- Straight lines, such as sentences on a page, appearing wavy or distorted
- Blurry areas on a printed page
- Difficulty reading or seeing details in low light levels
- Extra sensitivity to glare
Ophthalmologists and optometrists can diagnose macular degeneration with a comprehensive eye exam that can include amsler grid, dilated eye exam, ophthalmoscopy, fluorescein angiography, OCT, and tonometry.
MACULAR DEGENERATION TREATMENT
After diagnosis and evaluation of the disease, your ophthalmologist can recommend medications, prescription devices such as lenses and eyeglasses, or surgery.