Macular degeneration is an eye disease that may get worse over time, so you are going to want to know what the common signs to look for are. As you age, early detection is key for this leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. is and affects over 1.8 million Americans. If you are unsure about what macular degeneration is, we will be breaking down what it is and symptoms you should be aware of.
What is Macular Degeneration?
The macula is the center portion of your retina and over time, it wears down and affects the part of your retina that transmits images through the optic nerve to your brain. There are two types of macular degeneration – wet and dry.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is a more advanced stage of the disease in which there is abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye that leak or bleed. This leaking causes permanent vision loss.
Dry Macular Degeneration
The majority of macular degeneration cases are dry and the blood vessels in the eye do not leak. Small deposits called drusen form in the macula and as they get bigger and spread, they can dim or distort your vision. However, in the early stages of the disease, there are few symptoms or vision loss.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
One of the most common signs of macular degeneration is a shadow or fuzziness at the center of vision. Peripheral vision remains but over time, the central vision becomes more and more distorted. With dry macular degeneration, you might also see blind spots that worsen as the disease progresses.
Wet macular degeneration also affects central vision. Like dry macular degeneration, symptoms can also include blind spots and distorted vision. Wet macular degeneration can also make straight lines appear wavy and the leaking blood vessels result in scarring that causes permanent loss of central vision. There is currently no cure for macular degeneration, but early detection and early treatment can slow the progression of the disease. That is why it is so critical to get regular, comprehensive eye exams – especially if you are over the age of 45. If you’d like to learn more about macular degeneration or to schedule your eye exam today, contact the caring professionals at Tyson Eye. We’re committed to providing quality care for the things you see the world with.