Macular Degeneration Explained
Your retinas, the light-sensing portion of your eyes, contain a central layer called the macula. As you age, the macula may deteriorate over time and cause significant and irreversible central vision loss. If you have macular degeneration, you will lose the ability to see fine details. However, your peripheral vision may remain intact. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of deteriorating vision among adults older than the age of 60.
Tobacco use, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and family genetics may all contribute to macular degeneration. Females, Caucasians and those with lighter eye colors are also at higher risk.
Exploring the Two Types of Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration
Most patients with macular degeneration are diagnosed with what is called dry macular denervation. Dry macular degeneration occurs when your eyes’ macula become thinner over time. Often resulting with age, thinner macula may also host new clusters of protein which will eventually cause central vision loss. Currently, there are no cures for dry macular degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Less common but more damaging, wet macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels grow between your eyes’ macula and retina. These new blood vessels are abnormal; they are weaker than normal vessels and may leak blood and other fluids into the sensitive parts of your eyes. This causes your macula to scar, leading to irreparable vision loss.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Too often, patients do not realize they have macular degeneration or another eye disease until their vision is already significantly impaired. Late diagnoses may lead to permanent vision loss. That’s why it is so important to schedule annual appointments with Calvert Ophthalmology Center. We will keep you fully informed about the condition of your eyes and help you catch potential issues early. Many causes of vision loss can be reversed when discovered early.