Macular Degeneration – A Leading Cause Of Vision Loss

Most commonly, macular degeneration can be found in early adults. In this condition, the center of the inner lining of the eye can become thin, atrophy and sometimes it leads to bleeding.

Finally, macular degeneration can lead to loss of central vision, so you cannot see fine details, cannot read or recognize faces.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD):

macular41Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans who are 60 years of age and older. Around 13 million Americans suffer from blindness due to AMD.

Macula is located at the center of the retina in the back of your eyes.

The transmission of light from eyes to the brain is under retina.

Macula has greater part in performing some tasks which require central vision like driving and reading.

The development of AMD is very slow, so you can’t recognize little changes in your vision.

While in some others the progression of AMD is much faster and cause loss of vision in both the eyes. This condition comes in two forms, one is wet and the other is dry.

Wet form of age-related macular degeneration: This condition occurs when the blood vessels behind the retina cause to reveal and lift the macula. At the early stage of wet AMD you will observe the straight lines in a wavy fashion.

Wet AMD is the most advanced form of age-related macular degeneration and is more chronic than dry one. Sometimes dry AMD can turn into wet one.

Surgeries, injections and some therapies will help to reduce wet AMD. But, there is no permanent cure for wet form of age-related macular degeneration. These methods can only help to slow down the declination rate in vision.

Laser treatment is considered particularly for wet macular degeneration. It dries up the leaking blood vessels. Surgery is also helpful to remove the blood vessels under retina. The treatment methods that work for you may not work for others. Magnifiers will help you in performing daily activities like reading, sewing and cooking.

Dry form of age-related macular degeneration: This condition occurs due to the breaking of macular cells and slowly it leads to blurring central vision in the affected eye.

Then you will lose the vision in the central eye. Both eyes can be affected with dry AMD but you will lose vision only in one eye. The risks associated with macular degeneration also increases with your age.

Obesity, race, cardiovascular disease, gender, high cholesterol, smoking, inadequate nutrition and family history of AMD can cause macular degeneration.

Once dry AMD enters into an advanced stage, no treatment will help to prevent the vision loss. In order to reduce the risk, use treatment methods before entering AMD into the advanced stages. Some vitamins and minerals can also help to reduce the risk associated with advanced age-related macular degeneration.

Eye exam to determine macular degeneration:

An eye exam is necessary to determine your condition. Your eye exam should include a visual acuity test, a dilated eye exam, and tonometry.

  • Visual acuity test is performed along with an eye chart test.
  • In dilated eye exam, to expand the pupils, eye drops are placed in your eyes. With the help of a magnifying lens your retina will be examined.
  • Tonometry test is used to measure the pressure inside your eyes.

If there is any change in your vision or you experience any blurredness, don’t be scared to use your eyes for reading, watching TV, and some other activities. Normal usage of eyes won’t damage your vision any more.

Contributing factors of macular degeneration:

Smoking linked to macular degeneration:

If you are a smoker then you are significantly at high risk of developing age-related macular degeneration in your later life than a person who does not smoke. Smoking causes visual impairments in people over 60 years of age.

The role of mineral zinc in macular degeneration:

According to some recent studies, researchers found that mineral zinc plays a part in the development of macular degeneration.

The deposits that are the characteristics of age-related macular degeneration have huge quantities of zinc.

Generally zinc supplements are used to boost your immune system. But, high doses of zinc along with antioxidants can cause to develop blindness.

Zinc also leads to formation of deposits in some neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Treating macular degeneration:

Antioxidants vitamins decrease the development of macular degeneration:

Antioxidant supplements help to fight against both the wet and dry forms of macular degeneration. Take them in their natural forms, because high doses can cause side effects.

  • Antioxidant vitamins like A, C and E can reduce the development of macular degeneration. Following a diet plan which is high in antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin help to lower the risk of developing AMD.
  • Lutein is available in bilberries, green leafy vegetables, mangoes, and yellow peppers. Zeaxanthin is available in broccoli, corn, eggs, lettuce, orange sweet peppers, spinach and tangerines.
  • You can find vitamins A, C, and E in different fruits, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, tomatoes, nuts, peppers, seeds, and raw carrots.

If your diet is lack of any of the above mentioned products, then immediately consider all the products. This greatly helps in reducing age-related macular vision.

Severe form of macular degeneration with poor prognosis can lead to the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

Following a healthy diet, maintaining healthy weight and avoiding smoking will greatly help you in protecting from developing AMD.