This condition is the most common cause of loss of vision in people above 50 years old. If you know about or have read about macular degeneration, you know it is about eyes and vision loss. People diagnosed with macular degeneration may begin to stress and worry.
While macular degeneration is a severe eye condition, it is treatable. Your chances of stopping the disease from getting worse are good if you detect the early warning signs and begin treatment straight away.
Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a disease of the eye that causes loss of central vision over time. It develops when the middle part of your eye, the macula, thins out and deteriorates with time.
The macula helps you vividly see details of images that are right in front of you, such as written texts, colors, or faces. But as you get older, the macula can wear out and affect your eyesight.
Usually, macular degeneration does not cause total vision loss. The disease may cause you to lose your central vision, but your side (peripheral) vision will stay intact. For example, when reading, you may see the words at the edges of the page but not those in your direct line of vision.
With dry macular degeneration, parts of the eye's macula deteriorate with age and small clumps of protein (drusen) grow. The result is that you start losing your central vision slowly as the drusen grow.
Nobody knows precisely what triggers dry macular degeneration. However, studies show that the disease may be the result of age, family history, heart disease, smoking, obesity, or if you are Caucasian.
This is where unusual blood vessels develop at the back of your eye and leak fluid and blood inside the macula. It causes inflammation and damage inside your macula, causing central vision loss.
The cause of this condition is not known. However, it happens in people with dry macular degeneration. The condition is a progressive eye disease. It is usually the late and more severe stage of the disease.
Symptoms of macular degeneration develop over time and with no pain. Because of this, many people do not notice they have the disease. Your eye doctor can detect the existence of macular degeneration before the symptoms become noticeable.
In the early stage, your ophthalmologist may see drusen in your eye or a change of color inside your macula. Early symptoms of macular degeneration include:
Straight lines appear wavy.
Diminished central vision – Seeing dark, blind, or blurry sections in your direct line of eyesight.
Written words look blurry.
Colors seem faded rather than bright.
Trouble identifying faces.
Difficulty seeing in dim lights.
The need for sharper or more radiant light when carrying out close-up tasks such as reading.
For more early warning signs of macular degeneration, visit Coastal Vision Medical Group at our offices in Chino, Irvine, Long Beach, Norco, or Orange, California. You can call (888) 501-4496 to book an appointment today.