Waushara County Health News
Macular degeneration is an eye condition that can cause central vision loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1.8 million Americans age 40 and over are affected. Macular degeneration is often age related.
The disease affects the macula or the middle part of the retina. The retina is the light sensitive part at the back of the eye. Macular degeneration does not cause blindness! It affects your central vision. Your peripheral vision or side vision will not be affected. You will still be able to see out of the corner of your eye.
There are two types of macular degeneration: “dry” and “wet” forms.
1. Dry macular degen-eration is when the macula gets thinner. It is the most common form of the disease. Seventy-nine to 90 percent of macular degeneration cases are “dry”. A common sign is increased yellow or white deposits/dots on your retina. The deposits are known as Drusen. Currently, there is no cure for dry macular degeneration. Central vision loss cannot be restored. However, if the disease is detected early, it is possible to slow down vision loss.
2. Wet macular degener-ation is when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina grow and leak blood. It is rare and only happens in 10 percent of cases. A common symptom is when straight lines appear wavy. If wet macular degeneration is detected early, it can be treated. There are different treatment options. The goal of the treatment is to prevent vision loss from worsening. Vision that is already lost cannot be restored.
Other symptoms of macular degeneration are: distorted central vision, loss of color vision, or a dark empty spot in the center of your vision. Signs become more obvious the longer you have the disease.