Macular Degeneration: What Is It?

macular degenerationMacular Degeneration is a disease of the eye that causes progressive vision loss over the course of time. It’s a very common eye problem that is diagnosed more than 200,000 times a year in the US alone. This condition does require a medical diagnosis by a healthcare professional.
Macular degeneration is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, although it can be treated and symptoms are generally very successfully managed. This is usually a lifelong condition.

How Does Macular Degeneration Occur?
Macular degeneration is a condition which causes the field of vision to slowly be lost over the course of time. There are generally two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry.
Dry macular degeneration causes the center of the retina (the part of the eye which allows you to see) to degenerate and the person’s ability to see eventually deteriorates.
Wet macular degeneration is a condition in which the blood vessels under the retina (the part of the eye which allows you to see) become leaky and damage the retina when the vessels burst.

What Are Some Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
If you consistently experience these symptoms talk to your eye doctor immediately. The most common symptoms of macular degeneration include the following:

  • partial loss of a person’s vision
  • abnormalities in vision where straight lines are appearing in wavy patterns
  • distorted vision
  • the inability to see in dimmer lighting
  • seeing spots

Who Gets Macular Degeneration?
People of all ages can get macular degeneration, however it is much more common with people aged 40 and up. It gets even more common in a person’s senior years, at age 65 or older.

How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
There is a new study going on with a mix of vitamins and minerals that are mixed together in a solution that are put into the eye via eye drops. This mix of drops is called an AERDS formula and is believed to slow the progression of the macular degeneration.
In other cases surgeries to fix the condition may be a viable option.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates providers are skilled eye care professionals who are well versed in the diagnosis, management and treatment of macular degeneration. If you are having symptoms of or are merely curious about macular degeneration, contact us for an appointment at (757) 643-8800.