Macular degeneration can blur your vision

  • Jan 21 , 2017

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision impairment. It is an eye disease which affects the macula i.e. the central portion of the retina. Macula is the most sensitive part of the retina, which is made up of millions of light-sensing cells.
Macular degeneration doesn’t tend to cause total blindness, as when the macula is damaged, the center of you field of vision might appear blurry, distorted or dark.

Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease which is most likely to occur after the age of 60, but it can occur earlier. If you have a family history of macular degeneration, then you are at higher risk for development of macular degeneration.

There are three general stages of the disease:

  • Early AMD: It is a pre-symptomatic stage where your macula develops medium-sized drusen, but you might not notice any vision loss.
  • Intermediate AMD: In this stage, your macula develops larger drusen and you might have pigment changes in your retina.
  • Late AMD: In this stage, you develop medium to large drusen in your macula. Vision loss may be noticeable.

Wet and dry forms of macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is diagnosed as dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular). The dry form is more common diagnosed than the wet form, with about 85 to 90 per cent of AMD patients. The wet form of the disease particularly leads to more serious vision loss. Dry AMD is an early stage of the disease and might result from the aging and thinning of the macular tissues. With wet macular degeneration, new blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This leakage causes permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells, which die out and create blind spots in central vision.

Macular degeneration disease has been linked to both genetic and environmental. Others may include:

  • Age (mainly people aging 65 and older)
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Macular Degeneration symptoms
  • Different forms of macular degeneration have slightly different symptoms. The basic symptoms are:
  • Distorted central vision in one or both eyes
  • Reduced ability to see
  • A blind or blurry vision
  • General haziness in overall vision
  • Difficulty in differentiating colors      
  • Visit your doctor if you notice changes in your central vision, especially if you’re 50 or older.
  • Diagnosing Macular degeneration
  • To check a diagnosis of macular degeneration, your eye doctor might perform several tests:
  • Basic eye examination
  • Amsler grid
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)