The macular degeneration explains a number of pathologic but highly common conditions which affect the macula and ultimately the central vision. The degeneration happens when a part of the retina deteriorates. The macula is used for reading small prints, street signs and is also used to thread a needle.
Also known as age related macular degeneration, this condition is due to the natural aging process and that is why it can be seen in many old people. There are a large number of macular problems of which age related macular degeneration is the most common. The symptoms of macular degeneration are distorted or dark areas of the central vision, permanent loss of central vision and blurriness. The peripheral vision is not affected by macular degeneration.
Macula (a part of the retina) is affected by this eye disease. From the eye, the retina sends the light to the brain that allows a person to see clearly. Wet and dry are the two types of age related macular degeneration. The progression of AMD is so slow that it gets difficult to notice vision changes. In many cases it has been seen that AMD has progressed so fast that resulted in vision loss in both the eyes. The condition of AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in older people. The central vision is affected by this condition which is required for activities such as sewing, driving and reading.
It is possible to notice signs and symptoms of the early stage of macular degeneration. An optometrist will examine the eye by conducting a comprehensive eye exam along with other tests. These tests are done in determining the condition of macular degeneration.
Dry AMD is the most common type of AMD and is also regarded as the least serious type. When there is a damage to the macula cells due to insufficient nutrients which also results in building up of waste products known as drusens. This process leads to the development of dry AMD. The loss of vision is a gradual process that might take several years. Rarely it has been seen that a person developing dry AMD will also gradually develop wet AMD as well. The 3 stages of dry AMD –
The development of wet AMD is due to the formation of abnormal blood vessels from under the macula that damages its cells. This condition is determined as the most serious one unlike dry AMD.
The dry AMD condition has no cure but a magnifying lens can be used to make the reading easy. However, there are treatment options for wet AMD that includes –
Both the advanced dry and wet forms are known as advanced AMD. This advanced AMD can occur in one eye that has one or more forms or in the same eye. This condition results in vision loss.
The early detection of AMD increases the possibility of preventing the vision loss. The treatments can prove more effective if the condition AMD is diagnosed early.
The cost of AMD is very cost-effective in India as compared to other developed countries of the world. The treatment for AMD depends upon the stage of this disease.