Macular degeneration is an age related condition that results in the deterioration of the retina. Vision can be significantly diminished, but symptoms can be treated using vision aids, medications, vitamins, or laser therapy. At present there is no cure for macular degeneration so it is important to have regular eye appointments if you exhibit any of the following symptoms.
The symptoms of macular degeneration
If you have a hard time driving, reading, have decreased vision resolution, blurry vision, dark and blurry spots at the center of your vision, or altered color perception, you could have macular degeneration. This eye condition is diagnosed with a basic eye exam. During your appointment the doctor may have you look at an Amsler grid. This grid is basically a checkerboard. If any of the lines seem blurry or are missing, these could be an indication of macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration can be passed down from parents to children. If you are aware of someone in your family who has had the condition, you are likely at a higher risk for getting the disease. Other risk factors include: smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, being female, light skinned, or a light eye color.
As mentioned, there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, but there are several options available to help diminish the negative impact of macular degeneration and slow the disease. Current treatments include: anti-angiogenesis drugs, laser therapy, photodynamic laser therapy and low vision aids. Newer treatments that hold considerable promise are sub macular surgery and retinal translocation. Both of these procedures involve removing abnormal blood vessels from the eye. One of the most common treatments for macular degeneration is using vitamins daily. Vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper have been known to diminish the loss of eyesight in patients with macular degeneration.