Macular degeneration is where the
center of the inner lining of the eye, known as the
macula area of the retina, suffers thinning, atrophy,
and in some cases bleeding.
This can result in loss of central vision, which entails
inability to see fine details, to read, or to recognize
faces. Macular degeneration is leading cause of central
vision loss (blindness) and in the United States today
for those over the age of fifty years.
Cause of Macular Degeneration
There is no commonly known cause of macular degeneration
- however, causes are likely to be related to a combination
of genetics and environment. Macular degeneration often
runs in families. Factors impacting one propensity to
macular degeneration include: skin color, iris color,
gender, smoking, obesity, sleep apnea, exposure to sunlight,
medications and high degrees of myopia.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Macular degeneration is typified by:
- Blurred vision - may be a gradual
loss or a rapid onset of vision loss.
- Central scotomas - shadows or
missing areas of vision
- Distorted vision - a grid of straight
lines appears wavy and parts of the grid may appear
- Trouble discerning colors - especially
between colors of similar darkness or lightness.
- Slow recovery - of visual function
after exposure to bright light
Macular Degeneration can be tested with the Amsler
Grid. This simple and effective test helps to monitor
the function of the macula or central area of vision.
Fluorescein angiography is also used to identify and
localize any abnormal vascular processes. Optical coherence
tomography is now used by most ophthalmologists in the
diagnosis and the followup evaluation of the response
to treatment by using either Avastin or Lucentis which
are injected into the vitreous of the eye at various
& Treatment Of Macular Degeneration