Three Things You Need to Know about Macular Degeneration


When it comes to vision, you are probably well aware of common eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. But did you know that macular degeneration causes more vision loss than cataracts and glaucoma combined and that it affects more than 10 million Americans? Here are three more things you should know about this incurable disease of the eye.

Types of Macular Degeneration

There are two types of this eye condition, which is sometimes referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD):

  • Dry (atrophic)
  • Wet (exudative)

The dry type of macular degeneration is much more common and makes up between 85 and 90 percent of all macular degeneration cases. It is caused when tiny yellow deposits called drusen form in the macula. This results in a thinning or deterioration of the macula, which is the middle part of the retina. Those who have this dry type of macular degeneration can eventually experience severe loss of vision.

The wet type of macular degeneration is caused when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. Fluid gets leaked into the retina by these blood vessels and vision becomes distorted. Scarring from the bleeding blood vessels can cause permanent loss of central vision.

Causes of Macular Degeneration

While the most well-known cause of macular degeneration is age, there are also some other known causes, including the following: 

  • Race—it is more prevalent in Caucasians
  • Genetics and family history
  • Cigarette smoke—smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke increases the risk
  • Obesity—those who are obese increase their chances of getting a more severe form of AMD

Some health professionals also suggest that a lack of certain vitamins found in fruits and vegetables can increase the chances of developing macular degeneration.

Treatment for Macular Degeneration

While there is no cure for macular degeneration, these types of treatment that can help alleviate its symptoms:

  • Being proactive in caring for the eyes, including regular eye exams
  • Eating certain foods such as fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, fish, and nuts
  • Being aware of symptoms such as blurred central vision and straight lines looking distorted

Wearing sunglasses outdoors can also help protect the eyes from macular degeneration. If you already have the disease, ask your optometrist about prescription sunglasses that can completely eliminate UV rays, reduce the intensity of light, get rid of horizontal glare, and protect the eyes from all directions.

Do you have risk factors associated with macular degeneration? When is the last time you had your eyes examined? Set up an appointment with an eye doctor, such as one from Monroe Optical, Inc.,  as soon as possible to see if you could have the start of macular degeneration.


5 February 2016

A New You

Growing up, one of my best friends was also my cousin. This special cousin and I shared something in common. We both had fiery red hair. When we were kids, many people thought we were sisters when they saw us together. Sadly, my cousin was born with crossed eyes, and because of her condition, she was often ridiculed by the other kids at school. As we grew older we began researching modern ways to correct her problem. Together we found the perfect solution. If you were born with crossed eyes, don’t despair. You do have hope. On this blog, you will discover the latest treatments optometrists use to help cure a patient’s crossed eyes.