Macular Degeneration Causes and Symptoms
Macular degeneration causes and symptoms are not definitive and greatly depend on what kind of disease you have. Stargardt disease is hereditary, while the causes of AMD include both environmental and genetic factors.
If anyone in your family has a history of any type of macular degeneration, the likelihood of developing the disease is also high.
Risk factors related to age-related macular degeneration include smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. It also observed that macular degeneration is more prevalent amongst Caucasians.
Pursuing life changes such as eating a balanced diet, exercising, quitting smoking, and protecting the eyes from ultraviolet light can slow the progression of macular degeneration.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
During the early stage of macular degeneration, people do not experience vision defects which is why regular eye examination is important.
As macular degeneration progresses into its intermediate and late stages, patients will start experiencing the following:
- A gradual loss of vision, particularly in the central field.
- There will be noticeable gray, black, or hazy spots in your vision. It also takes longer than usual for the eyes to adjust from light to dark environments.
- Straight lines may appear distorted or bent and words might disappear when reading.
- Bright light will also appear glaring and uncomfortable.
- Objects in front of you appear to change in color, shape, and size.
Macular degeneration eventually results in severe vision impairment and loss of central vision.
Is Macular Degeneration Treatable?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration and its effects are often irreversible. If detected early, your doctor can prescribe treatment to prevent severe vision loss. Treatment and medication can also significantly slow the progression of macular degeneration.
An optometrist can also prescribe special glasses and optical appliances to aid in any vision impairment caused by macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is incurable but its effects can be slowed down and corrected.
For wet AMD, a medicine can be injected into the middle of the cavity of the eye to block the development of new blood vessels and leakage.
Some studies have also shown that dietary supplements can slow the progression of AMD and some medications can stop the development of blood vessels related to wet AMD.
Optical devices, low vision aids, and rehabilitation can also lessen vision impairment in patient.
Living with Macular Degeneration
Children diagnosed with Stargardt disease are heavily advised to wear dark glasses and hats out and bright light. Low vision devices and therapy can also help them carry out daily tasks.
Stargardt is hereditary and many patients become visually disabled by the time they reach their 20s. This disease has a great emotional impact since it affects one’s ability to work, socialize, and live normally.
People living with AMD often find it difficult to read and do activities such as driving.
Macular degeneration causes and symptoms vary. Most of them are associated with hereditary and environmental factors. Macular degeneration is incurable but treatment and lifestyle changes can slow its progression.
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