Macular degeneration is typically an age-related disease. It occurs when the main part of the retina, known as the macular, starts to deteriorate. This deterioration causes major vision problems.
Dry macular degeneration is the most frequently occurring kind of macular degeneration. In this form of the disease, cells within the macula gradually deteriorate. Metabolic byproducts called drusen develop and build up beneath and around the retina. Drusen deposits are often the first indicator of dry macular degeneration. These deposits eventually cause retinal cells to die, which causes blurred or spotty vision. Even worse, dry macular degeneration can progress and cause vision loss.
Sometimes dry macular degeneration can turn into the other type of macular degeneration, which is wet macular degeneration.
Wet macular degeneration happens when the Bruch's membrane within the eyes deteriorates. New blood vessels then develop in this area, but these aren’t quality cells. They’re highly fragile and prone to breaking open, leaking fluids into the eye. That causes the macular to scar and lead to vision loss.
Wet macular degeneration is more damaging and develops more rapidly than dry macular degeneration, but it accounts for only about 10% of all age-related cases of macular degeneration.
Some of the signs of macular degeneration can include:
Any vision changes should be discussed with the Cataract & Vision Center of Hawaii team right away. The sooner that these symptoms can be checked out, the sooner an appropriate diagnosis can be made, and the sooner treatment can start.
Although there isn't a cure for dry macular degeneration, there may be ways to delay its progression and improve eye health. That includes, for example, taking antioxidant supplements recommended by the doctors at Cataract & Vision Center of Hawaii. With wet macular degeneration, laser surgery has been a very successful treatment for many people. Injections of angiogenesis inhibitors into the eye and photodynamic therapy are also potential treatments for wet macular degeneration.
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