Macular degeneration is a condition that causes deterioration of the macula, which is the central part of the retina that allows us to see fine details clearly.
This leads to a loss of central vision while peripheral vision remains intact. Macular degeneration usually affects people over the age of 60 and is the leading cause of blindness in older adults. There are two types of Macular Degeneration: dry and wet.
Dry macular degeneration is the more common form and progresses slowly. Early signs may include increased difficulty seeing at night or needing more light to read. As the condition progresses, straight lines may appear wavy, and colors may not be as bright.
A small blind spot may develop in the center of vision. People with dry macular degeneration usually retain good central vision and are able to live independently.
Wet macular degeneration is less common but more serious. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak fluid or blood. This can cause rapid deterioration of central vision.
Wet macular degeneration may cause straight lines to appear wavy, colors to appear dull, and a blind spot to develop in the center of vision. People with wet macular degeneration often experience a sudden decrease in vision.
There is no cure for macular degeneration, but there are treatments available that can slow down its progression and help preserve vision. These include specialized eye vitamins, laser surgery, and injections of medication into the eye.
If you are over the age of 60, it is important to have your eyes tested regularly so that any early signs of macular degeneration can be detected and treated promptly.