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Macular degeneration is one of the most common eye disorders, affecting millions of people every year. The dimming of the central vision is the main symptom. With macular degeneration, the process takes place in the retina of the eye, resulting in the destruction or injury of the macular photoreceptors. Dry macular degeneration usually occurs with middle to severe age vision loss, but is also not as severe as the symptoms of wet macular degeneration. However, wet macular degeneration over a long period of age will steadily progress to early stage severe regional atrophy (DXA) – causing progressive, permanent, and extreme vision loss affecting the macular. Here we will discuss symptoms, risks and macular degeneration prevention.

SYMPTOMS

Wet macular degeneration symptoms normally develop progressively and are not known to be linked to vision at the time of diagnosis. However, in later years, dry AMD progresses towards serious AMD, which is recognized by its characteristic blind spots, typically in the central field of vision, and its intense sensitivity to light. The transition from dry to wet macular degeneration depends on the nature of the initial disease and the body’s ability to restore abnormal blood vessels. Age is usually a key factor, though sunlight also plays a part in both situations.

Other early symptoms of macular degeneration include light sensitivity and yellowing of the central field of vision. Usually, these symptoms are not enough to encourage someone to seek medical attention, but if you encounter them regularly, seek support. Early detection in middle-aged or elderly people is especially significant. In fact, the most effective prevention method for macular degeneration is often the identification of disease before it progresses. Although there is no way to stop the aging process, you can do things to slow the progression of the disease, prevent it from getting worse, and increase the chances of keeping your vision intact for as long as possible.

RISKS

Macular degeneration is a disease caused by damage to the photoreceptors in the eye, which is responsible for supplying the brain with a central image. This damage causes the macula to shrink in size, making the objects look sharper or simpler than they actually are. Age is one of the main risk factors for macular degeneration; studies have shown that women are five times more likely to develop a disease than men, and those of middle age are three times more likely to develop a condition than younger adults. Research has also shown, however, that a family history of macular degeneration may play a role in the development of the disorder. So far, researchers have been unable to determine a definite gene linked to macular degeneration.

Two other risk factors for macular degeneration associated with a greater risk of developing AMD are overweight or obese and high blood pressure. Both of these risk factors are considered to be associated with an increased risk of AMD due to the fact that these factors may exacerbate macular degeneration. Studies have also shown that smokers have an elevated risk of AMD, as well as those who drink significant quantities of alcohol on a daily basis. Researchers conclude that smoking and alcohol will potentially slow down the progression of macular degeneration rather than cause it. However, individuals should stop smoking and avoid drinking together if they intend to avoid AMD. As always, it is advised that individuals seek advice from their physician before embarking on any self-medication or treatment plan.

PREVENTION

A major field of prevention of macular degeneration includes the prevention of macular damage in susceptible individuals. This often includes wearing sun glasses when outside, particularly when exposed to sunlight for a long period of time. However, there is a lack of research to investigate whether or not repeated UV rays at the ear infirmary may also contribute to AMD in susceptible individuals. Currently, it appears that early exposure to UV rays may also have the potential to raise the risk of macular degeneration, although this has yet to be shown to be definitive.

Another area of prevention of macular degeneration is taking further care of the current blood pressure. Studies have shown that even people with average overall health levels may be at higher risk of AMD if they have high blood pressure. This is especially true of people who smoke, have high blood pressure or are obese. It has also been found that women who smoke and have higher blood pressure at 35 years of age are more likely to have lower vision than women who never smoke and maintain a healthy weight. Daily exams with your eye doctor are also necessary for these and other reasons.

CONCLUSION

As macular degeneration progresses, there can be major changes in your vision. If you find any shifts, you can get them reviewed by an optometrist as soon as possible. The quicker you can check your eyes, the better; the longer the damage progresses, the harder it is to reverse it. For example, if you find that your vision is beginning to blur or that you have trouble reading a small print, your doctor can check you out. These symptoms may signify the beginning of the progression towards vision loss.

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