Macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in people over the age of 50. It is a serious disease, and unfortunately, there is no cure. It occurs when the macula of your eye begins to thin. It often begins in just one eye, and soon after, your other eye becomes affected. Our staff at Positive Eye Ons in West Hollywood, CA, wants to answer your common questions about macular degeneration.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Doctors don't know the cause of macular degeneration. Certain factors could put you at risk of developing the disease. These include:
Age: This disease often occurs in people over 50.
Family history: If your parents or siblings have macular degeneration, you are more at risk.
Race: Macular degeneration is most commonly seen in Caucasians.
Smoking: Smoking cigarettes or being exposed to second-hand smoke can increase your risk of developing this disease.
Obesity: Studies have shown that people with weight issues are more at risk of developing macular degeneration than a person who is at a healthy weight.
Cardiovascular disease: If you have a condition that affects your heart and blood vessels, you are at high risk of developing this disease.
What Are the Symptoms Of Macular Degeneration?
In the early stages, macular degeneration often shows no symptoms. Gradually, you begin to experience the following symptoms:
Visual distortions such as straight lines appearing bent
Reduced central vision
Needing brighter lights when reading or doing close-up work
Difficult adapting to the light in dimly lit rooms
Printed words appear blurry
Seeing colors less brightly than you once did
Difficulty recognizing faces
How Is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
Macular degeneration can be detected during your annual eye exam. If your eye doctor suspects macular degeneration, there are a few tests that they can perform including a dilated exam, the Amsler Grid test, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography. These tests can detect the disease and track the progression.
How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
There is no cure for macular degeneration. Vitamin supplements can help slow the progression; however, once vision loss has occurred, it cannot be reversed. There are low vision aids available to help you see correctly. Also, a telescopic lens can be implanted surgically that can improve your distance and close-up vision.
Since macular degeneration shows no early signs, it is essential that you schedule annual visits with Positive Eye Ons in West Hollywood, CA. If the disease is caught early, our eye doctor will take the necessary steps to slow the progression of the disease, which can prevent blindness. You can schedule an appointment with us by calling (323) 651-5646 today!