Did you know that macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans? This unfortunate issue affects up to ten million people. That’s a lot of people who need extra care and assistance with their vision. Identifying Macular Degeneration early can help you get treatment before it develops into a more serious issue. Keep reading for some of the most frequently-asked questions about Macular Degeneration.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is a disease that affects the retina of the eye, which is the part of the eye that records and transfers the images we see to the brain. It is key to the clarity of the image you “see.” The center of the retina is called the macula, and this is the portion that is affected by Macular Degeneration. The cells in the macula begin to deteriorate, which can then lead to vision loss.
How Can I Know If I Have It?
Macular Degeneration often starts as wavy or blurred vision in patients who are generally a little older. Sometimes the vision disruption stops there and doesn’t progress any further. If the condition continues to grow, central vision may be completely affected or lost. Patients with severe Macular Degeneration are legally blind, so it is a serious concern.
Macular Degeneration may begin without giving you any signs of what is going on. This is why it is so important to have regular check ups with your doctor: we can check for the health of your eyes before signs are available to you.
What causes Macular Degeneration?
We still don’t know exactly what leads to Macular Degeneration, though we do understand that certain risk factors seem to increase the chances of developing Macular Degeneration.
Generally, Macular Degeneration affects patients above the age of 55, so age is obviously a risk factor. Other risk factors include genetics, race, and smoking. For example, if you have family members who suffered from Macular Degeneration, then you may have an increased risk. Also, Caucasians seem to have an increased risk of developing Macular Degeneration. And last, if you smoke cigarettes, your chance of developing Macular Degeneration may be increased as well (so quit smoking and chewing ASAP).
Call us to learn more about keeping your eyes healthy. Please call us at 561.338.772 to schedule a consultation with us.