Macular degeneration, also known as AMD (age-related macular degeneration), is a retinal condition that may lead to vision loss. The most common symptom of AMD is the yellowing of the eyes, known as drusen. Another common symptom is vision loss in the central field of vision, known as a blind spot. In more extreme cases, the middle field of vision can gradually be lost together. The cause of this disease is not yet clear, but a number of studies have been performed to try to find a correlation between eye damage and age.
Scientists have examined people with both types of eye disorders, as well as healthy individuals, to assess if there is a genetic correlation between the two. While genes that mutate in AMD patients have yet to be discovered, a few researchers hope that their research can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism.
Symptoms of macular degeneration may involve seeing tiny, dark spots under the eye that can gradually turn into wrinkles. Some people can feel yellow-green or red veins under their eyes. They can also experience a blind spot in one or both eyes. You may also experience seeing straight lines or halos appear around the lights. Another symptom of this disorder is blurred vision. These signs are frequently confused with the effects of heavy doses of prescription eye medicine.
Dry eyes are another symptom of the disease. This can influence whether or not a person can see clearly. People who suffer from wet macular degeneration can find it difficult to see at night. This is because wet areas on the retina, once filled with water, can be damaged.
Researchers believe that the cause of AMD is related to genetic proteins called r genes. These proteins are not normally passed on from one generation to the next. However, they may be passed along from parent to child during reproduction. If a person has a gene that causes macular degeneration, their chances of getting it in the future are increased. This may delay or even prevent the degeneration from progressing any further.
Another cause for the degeneration is poor circulation of blood in the macula area of the eye. Poor circulation can be caused by a number of factors including hypertension and diabetes. When this occurs, a person may notice that they have an increase in eye redness or that they are having trouble with seeing clearly. Macular degeneration is not just painful; it can also cause blurry vision.
There are several risk factors for having this condition. If someone has parents who have had AMD, they are more likely to develop it themselves. Age is also a factor. The older you get, the more your eyes tend to deteriorate. People who smoke, drink alcohol, and do not get enough exercise are also at greater risk of developing this condition. One thing you can do to reduce the risk is to make sure you get plenty of exercise each day.
The good news is that medication for this disorder is available. Prescription treatment is also done by optometrists. However, you might want to look into an alternate choice involving vitamins and nutrients, homeopathy and acupuncture for vision enhancement.
Gene therapy, which is currently being used to treat other types of illness, may be used to treat age-related macular degeneration. However, it is too soon to say if it will function as well as other therapies. Before then, if you are worried about developing AMD, speak to your doctor about the possibility of a genetic link.