Take Macular Degeneration Seriously

If this article is successful, you will be motivated to make sure to religiously schedule a yearly exam with your eye doctor in Smyrna.  There are several eye-related diseases, some in particular that attack more often as a person ages.  One of the most serious of these conditions is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can result in a loss of vision in the center of your view (corresponding to the macula) because of retinal damage.  In advanced stages of AMD, the patient is no longer able to see objects at the center of their vision, as if someone with a round spoon was blocking the center part of their view.  It can make it difficult or even impossible for the patient to recognize faces.

The macula is responsible for the center part of your vision (as opposed to your peripheral vision) and as such is the highest resolution (most detailed) part of the optical sensors in your eye.  The macula is yellow in color, causing it to absorb blue and ultraviolet light, acting as a natural block to these parts of the solar spectrum.  As such, it acts like tiny sunglasses for that portion of the retina.

Your eye doctor in Smyrna can detect problems which can occur in older patients when yellow deposits known as drusen in the macula begin to degenerate the area between the chorioid and the overlying retinal pigment epithelium.  Although many can maintain this condition without significant loss to the quality of their vision, others can develop AMD if the drusen become large and numerous.  This condition is related to problems with cholesterol deposits as well, and those taking cholesterol medicines may find some protection for this form of AMD.

AMD can occur in “dry” and “wet” forms.  The dry form is known as central geographic atrophy and results when the drusen causes atrophy in the retinal

pigment epithelial layer.  This layer, located above the retina, causes vision loss by the degradation of the retinal photoreceptors (the rods and cones), located in the central part of the eye.  Unfortunately, no medical or surgical treatment is available for this condition.  However, the use of vitamin supplements may slow the progression of dry AMD and has been known to restore vision in some patients.

The wet form of AMD is known as neovascular or exudative AMD, and is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth in the choriocapillaris.  This leads to protein and blood leakage below the macula, causing vision loss.  If left untreated by your eye doctor in Smyrna, damage is also irreversible.


You may also like...