When Does Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness
In the United States, the leading cause of blindness is macular degeneration, also called AMD or ARMD. This eye problem affects millions of people every year and tends to be the most common cause of vision loss in middle-aged people. It is not due to old age or disease, but to factors that occur as we get older.
AMD slows down as we age, but it can happen at any age. The key to preventing AMD and preserving healthy eyesight is to identify and take preventative measures early. The lens in the eye is surrounded by a retinal cushion, which helps to reduce the effects of eye strain and visual distortions such as blurriness and blind spots.
Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive degenerative disease that mainly attacks the central part of the vision and results in blindness. AMD attacks the retinal macula, a crucial part of our manual which enables us to see things straight ahead.
Form of AMD
There are two forms of AMD, namely, subclinical and clinical
- Subclinical AMD, the less severe version of the disease, can be brought about by genetic or environmental factors
- Clinical AMD on the other hand is caused by the excessive consumption of highly varying nutrients like lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene
There are various possible reasons behind the formation of AMD
- The primary and the most common reason are ageing
- The other main factors responsible for AMD are hereditary and environmental aspects
- However, there are many other less known factors responsible for AMD.
Factors responsible for Macular Degeneration
When we talk about ageing, we mean the slowing down of the body functions like reproduction, cell regeneration, immune system, etc. As a person ages, the rate of production of new cells starts decreasing. Another factor that decreases is the rate of conversion of proteins into amino acids.
These two factors reduce the supply of amino acids and consequently the protein level within the blood starts declining. Another thing that starts contributing to the decline in the supply of nutrients within the blood is inflammation. Inflammation is mainly caused by different viruses.
Sometimes, it can also be due to certain health conditions. The increased rate of macrophages in your body can sometimes lead to growths, clots, fluids or infections within the blood.
If the retina is damaged, there are high chances that we would lose our ability to recognize faces and learn new things, and eventually, our sight would slowly disappear. AMD is hereditary and there is no way we can avoid it from occurring. However, there are ways to prevent AMD and keep the vision impaired for as long as possible.
The retinal fluid is constantly refreshed, but it becomes denser with age. This causes the lens to become less able to focus light, causing blurry vision and halos around lights. As a result, the centre of vision darkens and the field of vision shrinks, resulting in less than optimal eye movement.
This leads to a condition known as “refractive errors,” where objects in the distance are blurred while objects nearby are clear. Another type of error is called “intraocular pressure” (IOP) and relates to the way a person’s eye feels from the back of the eye, where the muscles control eye movement.
Macular Degeneration Symptoms
Sometimes there are no symptoms at all. In other cases, the symptoms can progress toward being more serious. People suffering from macular degeneration normally have a thin layer of fat over their retina. This can be thin or thick and is called the drusen.
If the drusen are too thick, it can cause the delicate fibres within the macula to become damaged. This can result in vision loss because the retina does not function properly. Early signs of macular degeneration often show up in people who have a lot of. In advanced cases of macular degeneration, the centre of vision may have already been affected.
The centre of vision can sometimes be restored with surgery, but vision loss may occur at any point along the way. This advanced stage is characterized by an image that appears fuzzy because the area affected has scar tissue and is difficult to clean.
Macular Degeneration Test
The earlier the symptoms of this disease are detected, the more effective treatments are likely to be. If you have any difficulty seeing at night due to AMD, make sure that you visit an eye care professional at the earliest. AMD can cause permanent damage to the retina if left untreated.
To detect early signs of macular degeneration, a doctor should visit a doctor who is trained to examine individuals with these conditions. The doctor will use special equipment to examine the retina under a magnifier. The doctor will look for clues to the progression of the disease.
In some cases, the doctor will perform a manual examination of the eye itself. Other times, a computerized program will generate images of the eye. In both cases, the goal of the examiner is to detect signs of the disease using a Wet AMD test or a Dry AMD test.
The Wet AMD test is often used to determine if a person has only dry macular degeneration or if they have both types of the disease. A person who has only dry macular degeneration needs to have their eyes examined before the age of 60. In the case of wet macular degeneration, the wet AMD test is done when the patient is young.
The person can take the test several weeks after the first incident of dryness in the eye. There is a world-renowned eye surgeon and Retinal Specialist who began his medical career at the University of California and received a degree in radiologic technology and became a surgical resident in 1970. He went on to complete multiple studies and residencies in various retinal diseases.
He even underwent several advancements in laser surgery and later served as chief resident in vitreoretinal surgery. Before his retirement, he was also a surgeon general surgeon and associate chief of surgery for the Veterans Affairs Department in Washington, D.C.
Although there are no treatments for this progressive disease, increasing research has resulted in techniques that may one day help treat it. Since there is no cure, treatment can only help delay the progression of the disease. The most common treatment for this is treated with medications such as
- Laser surgery
It is advisable to seek immediate treatment when you experience any type of vision loss. While there are no specific medical treatments available for AMD, there are plenty of ways to prevent it from progressing and seeing you in the middle of nowhere.
Vision Loss Due to Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in seniors. As people age, many changes take place within their eyes. Many times it is hard to tell how much eye damage has been done because the area involved is small and the vision can be unclear.
One way that you can find out about what is causing your vision loss is to consult with a doctor. There is currently no treatment for age-related macular degeneration, only some treatments can help you see more clearly. Your treatment will likely depend on which type of macular degeneration that you have, and can include: Intraocular injections of a laser.
This procedure is often recommended to people who are not candidates for the treatment of choroidal ocular hypertension. However, it does have some benefits. It can correct a small portion of your problems, which can make your central vision clearer.
Lasik surgery for Macular Degeneration
Another option for treating age-related macular degeneration is a treatment called Lasik surgery. This procedure can correct a larger portion of your vision loss. However, it can also cause side effects such as dry eye, flaking of the skin, and having to wear reading glasses or contacts after the procedure.
Another drawback is the high cost of having this procedure done. Even though laser surgery can correct most types of vision loss, you still need to be very healthy to safely undergo the procedure.
If you are experiencing a severe enough case of macular degeneration that your central vision is blurry, then you may need to opt for eyewear such as contacts or glasses with a magnification option. This way you can still see things clearly, but you can have a reduced level of visibility.
For those who have an extreme case of vision loss, a treatment such as fusion imaging may be recommended. This procedure can take images of your retina and then produce a three-dimensional image using computerized technology.
Laser Technology for Vision Correction
One of the most popular forms of vision restoration treatments involves using laser technology for vision correction. Lasers have come a long way in recent years and have become an increasingly popular method for treating some forms of vision loss.
Laser vision correction is the most commonly performed surgical procedure for people suffering from age-related macular degeneration. The laser will excite the blood flow to the macula, which causes it to shrink in size. Once it has shrunk in size, the macula is less likely to get damaged and cause vision loss.
One of the primary reasons that people begin to lose eyesight with this condition is because their manual begins to absorb light in a normal fashion, but when that light hits it and is magnified, it causes the macula to release cones, which are the main receptors for seeing.
When the macula is damaged, there is not enough of it to properly absorb the light, which causes the vision to be blurry. Lasers offer a very effective treatment for this particular type of macular degeneration.
Radiation Therapy for Macular Degeneration
Another form of treatment is through the use of radiation therapy. During a session, a physician places a device directly behind the retina, which is used to heat the manual so that it can absorb the rays. This process destroys the millions of nerve cells that are inside the macula and cause them to deteriorate over time.
It can take several sessions to achieve the desired results, but the good news is that these fewer nerve cells mean less chance of having the disease progress to the point where it’s too late to do much about it. If you are experiencing any type of vision loss in your area of vision, you should get to see a doctor today.
The sooner you start treating the macular degeneration that you are suffering from, the better. These treatments are available to help, even if it’s just a slowing of the progression of the disease. You don’t have to suffer from macular degeneration if there are ways to fight back and win.
If you go online, you will be able to find many different websites. These will give you the latest information available. Most of them will provide you with links to free websites where you can get more information. The good news is that there are anti-oxidants available, which can help combat this condition.
In addition to anti-oxidants, you should also take care of your diet. If you are not eating well, you should start. This will improve your overall health, including your eyesight. You should cut down on the amount of red meat and processed food, and eat lots of fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts.
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