There are various types of macular degeneration. However, the most common form is associated with aging, this eye disease is also called age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).
The main symptom of Macular Degeneration is slowly losing vision in the central part of sight. This loss precludes the ability to do many everyday activities, including reading and driving. It also reduces your ability to see intricate details such as small prints and patterns.
The leading cause of vision loss in older Americans, 60 and older, is ARMD. There are two forms of this disease, wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Both forms affect the central portion of the retina, which is the light-sensitive section located in the back of the eye. This part of the eye processes images and is essentially responsible for sight. The dry form of ARMD is more common than the wet form. In fact, almost 90% of ARMD is the dry form.
The leading cause of losing vision in people over 60 years of age is macular degeneration. There are various risk factors, including smoking, obesity, and exposure to UV rays. Caucasians are at a significantly greater risk for contracting ARMD than African Americans. Additionally, macular degeneration affects women in greater numbers than men, and has a genetic component.
Macular degeneration (also called AMD, ARMD, or age-related macular degeneration) is an age-related condition in which the most sensitive part of the retina, called the macula, starts to break down and lose its ability to create clear visual images.
Dry macular degeneration symptoms include: consistent, slightly blurred vision within your central visual field. You may have difficulty in recognizing faces. And have a sudden need for more light while reading or working. The dry form of this disease gets progressively worse, over time. Wet macular degeneration symptoms include: a distortion of straight lines and an inability to focus properly on a single point within a grid. Wet macular degeneration is an advanced stage of the disease, and often results in blind spots and loss of centralized vision.
Macular degeneration symptoms vary based on the particular form of the disease (dry or wet), and the stage the disease at the time it is discovered.
There is as yet no outright cure for macular degeneration, but some treatments may delay its progression or even improve vision.
The progression of age-related macular degeneration is a major concern for patients. Scientists have been investing a great deal of effort into developing treatments, including better performing anti-VEGF drugs as well as gene therapies, stem-cell injections, and implants.
For many people, independence and personal freedom largely depend on being able to drive. When central vision deteriorates due to Macular Degeneration, so does the ability to drive. Here's how a low vision optometrist can help you maximize your remaining vision in order to continue driving.