According to medical research, macular degeneration is among the leading causes of blindness in people above 65. It is an age-related eyesight issue that may result in losing central and sharp vision. Macular degeneration can be either dry or wet.
Dry macular degeneration is more common than the wet version of the disorder in people over 50. It often begins in one eye before spreading to the other. In some cases, it can concurrently affect both eyes at the beginning of the disorder.
Without treatment, your vision may depreciate further, affecting your ability to accomplish simple daily tasks. These include driving, reading, and recognizing faces from a relative distance.
However, having this disease does not guarantee complete loss of eyesight. It mainly affects your central vision and leaves your peripheral vision unaffected.
Symptoms of this disease develop gradually and often without clear signs like pain. However, you may experience some of these discomforts:
Low central vision in either one or both of your eyes
Visual distortions that make straight lines seem bent
Trouble recognizing faces
Progressive blurriness of printed material
Requiring more illumination when doing close-up work or reading
Difficulty adjusting to low light levels—for example, when entering a dimly lit area
Presence of a blind or blurry spot in your field of vision
It can be hard to recognize changes in your vision if the condition is present in only one eye. Such a condition occurs because the good eye compensates for the other.
Sadly, no current treatments or cures exist that can help reverse the visual effects of this condition. However, doctors may recommend specific mineral and vitamin supplements in combination. These control its progression. These may include zinc, beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, cupric oxide, and vitamins C and E.
Alternatively, changing your diet can help control the disease and prevent it from worsening. Incorporate nutrient-rich foods like fish, vegetables, and dark, leafy greens.
Wet macular degeneration often progresses out of dry macular degeneration. The macula is the section of your retina responsible for clear vision concerning the line of sight. Its degeneration results from blood or fluid leaking from blood vessels into the macula.
Most of the symptoms of this condition are similar to dry macular degeneration. The difference is that in this form of the disease, they appear suddenly and exacerbate faster. Both do not affect peripheral vision. Therefore, they cannot cause complete blindness.
The treatments for this disease help control the abnormal number of blood vessels in your eyes. They help curb further distortion or loss of your eyesight. The two current treatments available for wet macular degeneration include:
Photodynamic therapy. It incorporates light-sensitive medication or verteporfin with lasers to reduce vision loss.
Anti-VEGF medications. These help control the growth and leakage of blood vessels into the eye by blocking the disease-causing protein. Doctors administer medication intravenously to the vitreous cavity.
Both diseases can benefit from early detection, so have regular eye checkups, especially when you are above 50.
For more information on dry and wet macular degeneration, visit Lakhani Vision Care at our Marietta, Georgia office. Call (770) 509-9932 to schedule an appointment today.