Age-related macular degeneration is the when the macular (the center of your retina) is obstructed causing your central vision to weaken. The term is labeled as ‘age related’ because it is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 60.
Macular Degeneration is known to be a severe disease as it effects the part of your eye which picks up the smallest details. As you age, degeneration worsens, so detecting it at its start is important to slow down the vision loss.
There are two types of macular degeneration:
Wet Macular Degeneration: This is the growth and development of uncommon blood vessels behind the retina, under the macula. It is considered “wet” because they are extremely soft and are known to leak fluid including blood. This will cause the macula to shift from its place.
Dry Macular Degeneration: When vision becomes blurred because cells that are sensitive to light break down in the macula. This will usually cause you to see a generally blurred vision, most often in the center of your direct sight. With dry macular degeneration, complete loss of central vision is possible as the macula continues to malfunction over time.
The number one and most known cause of macular degeneration is age. Most cases involve a gradual deterioration of sight after the age of 60. This is the main known cause of the condition, as other causes not related to aging are still being researched. In recent times, genetics and genetic changes have been associated with macular degeneration. Researchers believe that the condition is also hereditary, as chances to develop the condition if it is in your family is greater.
Wet macular degeneration is treated using laser surgery and injections to the eye. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is used to reduce degeneration, but there is not yet a solution that completely eliminates the condition.
Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) is a chemical inside the eye that causes the uncommon blood vessels behind the retina. There are a number of different oral medications and injections that have been designed to block this chemical, halting the growth of these blood vessels.
For dry macular degeneration, there is no treatment that reverses the condition once it reaches an advanced stage. Doctors will often suggest oral supplements to prevent more vision loss in the future. Specific vitamins and minerals have been known to reduce the continuing degeneration of vision. Patients with dry macular degeneration are often told to make changes to their diets and add foods that are high in certain vitamin contents to alleviate the possibility of the condition's growth over time.
Vision loss is almost always susceptible to aging. It is common not only in macular degeneration, but in many other optical cases, that with age comes a loss or weakened eyesight. Though there isn’t a specific cure to the condition so to speak, these treatments will slow down the natural progression of losing sight.
The dedicated doctors at West Medical are happy to discuss and suggest the most effective treatment for macular degeneration. We offer free consultations and a comprehensive diagnosis of each and every condition to ensure you are treated well.
To learn more about macular degeneration and options for treatment, call West Medical today at (855) 690-0565. We look forward to hearing from you!
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