Learning To Deal With Macular Degeneration

Learning To Deal With Macular Degeneration

Learning to deal with macular degeneration entails understanding this disease in some detail. In simple terms, macular degeneration is caused by a breakdown of the macula that is found at the back of the eye located within the retina. The primary function of the macula is to enable an individual to see fine and exact detail. When the macula is dysfunctional the central vision of the affected eye becomes somewhat distorted and much darker. Simple tasks like reading text on a page tends to become blurry when macular degeneration is present. In addition, straight lines written on paper can look wavy, while the faces of friends and family can quickly become completely unrecognizable.

The Loss Of Sensitivity To Contrast

Early signs of the onset of macular degeneration include yellow type deposits forming within the macula. During the early stages of macular degeneration there is often little degradation to a person’s vision. However, as the disease progresses vision begins to suffer. Typical symptoms of macular degeneration include the loss of sensitivity to contrast, distorted type vision, blurred type vision, as well as missing areas of vision and unexplained shadows. While there are other signs and symptoms that macular degeneration may be present, only an ophthalmologist can provide an accurate diagnosis. While it is rare for macular degeneration to cause complete blindness, the disease is quite debilitating and has a profound impact on one’s quality of life.

Regular Eye Exams

The actual causes of macular degeneration include a wide range of variables. Most ophthalmologists would agree that age, genetic factors, hypertension, obesity, as well as smoking and levels of sunlight exposure can all play a role in the development of macular degeneration. One of the best ways to monitor your eyes for the potential onset of macular degeneration is to have regular eye exams. Meeting with your ophthalmologist every year for an annual examination will ensure that you are fully informed and aware of the condition of your eyes. If you do not have an ophthalmologist you can typically request a referral from your general health care provider. Staying in touch with the condition of your eyes by visiting an ophthalmologist regularly is a good practice helping to ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of your eyes.