Macular Degeneration is a common eye disease associated with old age. It commonly affects people who are 50 years old and above. It involves the gradual destruction of the macula or the part of your eye found in the center of your retina or the layer of tissue on the inside back wall of the eyeball. The macula is responsible for providing you with sharp, central vision that you need to see objects clearly.
The progression of macular degeneration varies. In some cases, it can occur gradually and slowly that it only causes vision loss after a long time. With others, it develops faster and can immediately cause vision loss.
When you suffer from macular degeneration and your vision is affected, you will have a hard time doing normal activities like driving a car, recognizing faces, using the computer, printing and doing close work like sewing.
Since this condition only affects your central vision, it will not lead to total blindness. You will be able to retain your peripheral or side vision.
Although it is a leading cause of vision loss among the elderly, recent studies show that victims can be younger and the numbers are increasing further. There has been an increase in vision loss in people over 40 years old in the United States. There is also a 25% increase in people 50 years old and above who suffer from this disease.
Macular degeneration can either be dry or wet. Here are some useful information you need to know about dry macular degeneration:
• This is more common than the wet type.
• Unlike the wet kind, this condition is not associated with swelling that is caused by leaky blood vessels in the back part of the eye.
• This condition can affect either one eye or both eyes. Normally, if only one eye is suffering from this disease, the symptoms may be negligible and you will not notice significant changes in your vision. This happens because your good eye compensates for your weak eye.
• The symptoms of this condition develop gradually.
• Here are some symptoms that may indicate that you are suffering from dry macular degeneration:
• You find it difficult to adapt to low levels of light such as when you enter a cinema or a restaurant.
• There is a decrease in the brightness or intensity of the colors that you see.
• Haziness of your over-all vision increases slowly and gradually.
• If your condition is in its advanced stage, you may experience having hallucinations of people or shapes.
• You need brighter light when you do close-up work like reading or using the computer.
• Printed words that you read or fine details you look at appear increasingly blurred.
• You find it difficult to recognize faces.
• You notice a blind or blurred spot in your central vision.
• The moment you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above and you are at an age where the risk of developing macular degeneration is high, you should consult your doctor immediately and have your eyes checked so you can be given proper treatment, if necessary.
• It is possible that Dry Macular Degeneration can be slowed down by an appropriate diet – ask your optometrist about supplements, vegetables and exercise. They all help.