• Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    Are you experiencing blurring or a blind spot at the center of your field of vision? It might be Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).

    Macular Degeneration results in a gradual distortion of central vision, and sometimes leads to a central blind spot called a scotoma. When central vision is impaired, you may have difficulty recognizing faces and colors, driving a car, reading print, or doing close handwork, such as sewing or other handcrafts.

    There are two types of macular degeneration: the dry or atrophic type, and the wet or hemorrhagic type.

    Dry ARMD is the more common form and the less severe. It is caused by the deterioration of the tissue of the macula. Yellowish deposits called drusen form under the macula, causing it to thin and dry out. There is no known treatment that prevents advanced stages of dry macular degeneration or that can restore the loss of central vision.

    Wet ARMD in its advanced stages causes rapid growth of small blood vessels beneath the retina. Affected blood vessels leak blood and other fluid, which form scar tissue that causes vision loss. This wet form can be treated with laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and injections in the eye, which can slow the rate of vision loss. However, recurrence of vision problems over time is common after treatment.

    Age Related Macular Degeneration Facts:

    • Is the leading cause of low vision among older people and occurs most frequently among Caucasians.

    • Attacks and weakens the central portion of the eye (the macula) responsible for central vision and essential for making out detail.

    • Results in blurred vision in the center of the eye and can also cause blind spots in your center of vision.

    • Is a very serious condition but does not result in total blindness. In fact, with the help of a vision loss specialist, you can learn to use your side vision to read and perform other tasks usually performed by the central part of the eye.

    Possible Signs of Macular Degeneration:

    • Blurry areas on a printed page

    • Straight lines appear wavy

    • Dark spaces in your center of vision

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