Macular Degeneration is a common and chronic eye condition that affects older people, more specifically those who are 50 years old and above. When you are suffering from this disease, the macula of your eye is destroyed gradually. The macula is the part of your eye located in the center of your retina or the layer of tissue on the inside back wall of the eyeball. It is responsible for providing you with your sharp, central vision that helps you see objects clearly.
Macular degeneration attacks your sharp, central vision. Thus, you will find it difficult to perform activities that would otherwise be normally easy to do such as reading, recognizing faces, driving a car, using the computer and doing close work like sewing.
Although macular degeneration can cause the loss of your central vision, it will not cause blindness. You will still be able to see through your side or peripheral vision, albeit blurry.
This eye disease is a leading cause of vision loss in older people. A recent study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University shows an alarming increase in vision loss in Americans over 40 years old. The increase is a worrisome 23% from 2000. The increase in the number of people suffering from this disease is even higher in people who are 50 years old and above, which is pegged at 25%. These figures will be similar in Australia.
Macular degeneration can progress differently in different people. Some will notice a gradual and slow vision loss that can take place after a long time. On the other hand, it can also happen fast and cause immediate vision loss.
This condition may be classified as either wet or dry. Here are some useful information about wet macular degeneration:
• When you suffer from this condition, you have leaking blood vessels in your eyes that affect your macula and causes swelling.
• This is the less common but more severe type of macular degeneration.
• This condition is always preceded by the dry type.
• There is no clear reason on what causes this condition to develop.
• Here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate that you are suffering from this condition:
• Your central vision is decreased.
• There is a well-defined blurred or blind spot in your field of vision.
• Your symptoms worsen rapidly.
• In advanced cases, you can have hallucinations of people, shapes or animals.
• You can experience having some visual distortions wherein straight lines appear crooked or wavy or things appear smaller or farther than they really are.
• The brightness or intensity of the colors you see is reduced.
• Your symptoms manifest abruptly.
• Your ability to see fine details and colors is affected.
• When you begin to exhibit symptoms of wet macular degeneration, you should get professional help immediately. Consult your optometrist and have your eye checked. These preventive measures are essential because early detection and treatment can help reduce your risk of vision loss and it can even improve your vision.