What is it?

Macular degeneration is the number one cause of vision loss in the United States. It is an incurable eye disease that is most common in adults ages 50-60 and older. It is caused by deterioration of the eye’s retina over time.

How does it happen?

Macular degeneration affects a part of the retina called the macula. This is the part of the retina responsible for clear and accurate vision. As this deteriorates, you will lose the ability for your eyes to focus on driving a car, reading a book, or seeing anything in fine detail.

What are the symptoms?

As the condition progresses, your vision will gradually become worse. The center of your vision may become distorted. Additionally, you may not be able to focus on straight lines, as they will appear distorted as well. Macular degeneration may also affect the way you perceive colors.

What are my risk factors?

Age is the biggest risk factor. If you are over 60, your risk for developing macular degeneration is very high. If you smoke, your risk for developing the condition nearly doubles. Anyone with a family history of macular degeneration is also more likely to develop the condition.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

One common indicator of macular degeneration is the presence of tiny yellow deposits underneath the retina. Your eye doctor may also have you undergo vision tests, such as having you look at straight lines, to diagnose this condition.

There is no cure for macular degeneration, but some treatment options may slow the progression of the condition. These include laser therapy, vitamins, and medications.

How can I prevent it from happening?

While the condition may not be preventable, maintaining a healthy lifestyle (specifically, not smoking) may help delay its onset.

If you are experiencing similar symptoms to Macular degeneration, contact us today.

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