Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Many people suffer from problems like vision loss and blurry eyesight. Normally, these problems can be resolved by getting a pair of glasses. But sometimes, the situation is more complicated than we think. Macular degeneration is a serious problem that requires medical attention.
Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss. Over 10 million people have been diagnosed with macular degeneration in the United States. The worst part is that the doctors haven’t yet found a useful cure for this kind of vision loss. The risk of macular degeneration is higher in seniors, but even young people can be diagnosed with this condition.
You can do a better job protecting yourself from vision loss if you discover the disease in its early stages. Let’s take a look at some of the early warning signs to be on the lookout for.
How Macular Degeneration Starts
Macular degeneration slowly damages different parts of the eye. In the beginning, it doesn’t show any significant signs but it keeps getting worse with time. Scientists haven’t yet discovered the exact cause of this disease. Experts believe that genetics and the environment can be major causes of macular degeneration.
The retina is an important part of the eye and where macular degeneration begins. It mainly targets the center part of the retina known as the macula. That’s why your eye’s focus is gradually affected as the problem gets bigger. As a result, you start experiencing problems driving, reading and even recognizing details.
The retina cannot properly see images when deterioration begins in the macula. As a result, your brain doesn’t get accurate information about those images and everything begins to look blurry.
Your vision might not be affected if you are in the early stage of macular degeneration. In fact, patients normally do not experience any changes in their eyes until the disease progresses. This means you start experiencing blurry or wavy vision over time. Late stage macular degeneration often results in blindness.
What are the Risk Factors?
As we’ve mentioned above, the exact cause of this problem is not yet known. But doctors have figured out a few factors that may cause macular degeneration. The risk of developing macular degeneration is higher if your age is 55+ because age is one of the major factors of this disease.
You may also have a risk of developing this condition if someone in your family already suffered from it. Some doctors believe that race is also a factor for macular degeneration because this problem is more common in Caucasians.
You must consult your doctor if you’re experiencing any signs of macular degeneration. Your doctor can diagnose your overall vision health to see if you need to begin a treatment plan.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Some people think it’s easier to detect Macular degeneration as it affects one of the most important senses. But you must understand that it’s very difficult to notice the symptoms of this disease in the early stages. The symptoms are incredibly subtle, which means that many people do not experience any signs in the early stages.
Normally, people complain about a minor change in their vision. The change often takes place suddenly but sometimes it develops gradually over time. People will begin having a hard time focusing on straight lines and everything will appear a bit more blurry.
Other common signs of macular degeneration include:
- Seeing colors less vividly
- whiteouts in your vision
- Dark, blurry areas in your life of sight
We recommend visiting your ophthalmologist if you experience any vision changes. No matter whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not, you should regularly go for vision checkups. This way you will be able to detect macular degeneration in its earliest stages.
Treatment Options for Macular Degeneration
Although there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are treatment options available to help lessen its affects. The disease’s progression can be slowed by following a treatment plan. The goal is to extend the life of your vision and prevent the condition from becoming severe.
Here are the treatment options your doctor may suggest based on your health condition:
- Laser Therapy
- Anti-Angiogenic Drugs
- Photodynamic Laser Therapy
It can be difficult to live with macular degeneration. People often start feeling frustrated when they think about losing their vision. But you can work with your doctor to solve this problem if you detect macular degeneration in its early stages.