Macular Degeneration Symptoms – 7 Common Clues

doctor with ophthalmoscopeMacular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that inhibits the enjoyment of life for many adults over age 50. The deterioration happens in the center of the retina, or macula – a layer of tissue inside the back wall of your eyeball, where fine focusing occurs, causing blurring or a blind spot in your central vision.

There are two types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration, occurs without bleeding, and is the most common form. Dry macular degeneration is a sneaky disease that usually develops gradually, with no pain.

Even when dry macular degeneration initially affects only one eye, both eyes usually end up involved. The only symptoms you may notice are:

Although macular degeneration symptoms don’t cause blindness, they serve as an early stage warning. About 10 percent of dry macular degeneration cases progress to more damaging, advanced forms of the disease. The wet form of macular degeneration, sometimes leads to scarring and severe loss of central vision due to the underlying leakage of blood vessels.

If you experience any of these vision changes, get an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Regular eye screenings can detect early signs of macular degeneration. There’s no FDA approved cure at this time, but some treatments can delay the disease’s progression and in some cases even improve vision.

Although aging is the prime factor in this disease, studies have shown some preventative measures can be taken to avoid macular degeneration symptoms.

Smoking is a proven major risk factor, along with obesity, high blood pressure and drug side effects. Smoking, obesity and high blood pressure are treatable and preventable conditions. Check with your doctor to determine if any prescription medications you take may be at risk for macular degeneration symptoms.

Many eye care professionals feel that specific nutritional intervention will slow the progression or lower the risk of macular degeneration symptoms. Although no studies are considered conclusive, vitamins A, C and E, zinc, lutein (found in leafy green vegetables) and “good fats,” such as omega-3 fatty acids, have wildly reported effective results.

Even in mild forms, macular degeneration symptoms complicate the every day quality of life. Clear central vision is necessary for the things we enjoy, such as driving, reading, hobbies requiring detail work and recognizing faces dear to us.

For those who have suffered some vision loss, get help with vision tasks using brighter lights or magnifying lenses. View large type for publications or the internet. Make sure macular degeneration symptoms don’t isolate you socially. Travel with others; family, friends and volunteer organizations can help. Check with your doctor to ensure driving is still safe. Avoid certain driving situations, especially at night, in bad weather or heavy traffic.


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