Macular degeneration is an eye disease that affects the central part of the retina or the macula responsible for our sharpest vision. It is also one of the leading causes of visual impairment in older people.
There are two macular degeneration types: the dry form and the wet form.
The dry form is the most common. It is caused by the accumulation of yellow deposits known as drusen in the macula. A small portion of the deposits may not affect your vision. However, as the yellow deposits become many and more significant, you might gradually lose your vision.
The wet form is a more dangerous condition than the dry form. It is caused by blood vessels growing underneath your retina. The blood vessels slowly leak fluids such as blood into your macula, leading to blind spots and eventually loss of vision. Even worse, the symptoms are only noticeable when the disease has progressed.
There are various signs of macular degeneration. The most common ones include:
Reduced central vision in either one or both the eyes
Difficulty in reading in poor lighting conditions
General fuzziness in the overall vision
Inability to differentiate or see colors
Difficulty in reading since words appear distorted or wavy
Most of these symptoms only appear when the disease has progressed. Also, in the initial signs, there is hardly any pain. That means you may not know if you have the disease. But, an optometrist can tell even in the initial stages, and that is why you should have regular eye checkups.
Various steps can help you reduce the risk of getting macular degeneration and help you manage it. Some of them include:
Include leafy greens into your diets, such as Swiss chard, spinach, and kale. This is because they have an antioxidant that helps protect your eyes from cellular damage.
If you are a poor eater, you can request your optometrist to recommend supplements containing antioxidant vitamins. With multivitamins, you can reduce the chances of getting or worsening the disease.
If you have a relative affected by macular degeneration, you might be at a higher risk of developing it, as well. Therefore, you should watch out for the early signs such as difficulty reading in low light conditions, difficulty recognizing people’s faces, and struggling to differentiate colors.
If your blood pressure is high, blood may not flow to the eyes, contributing to molecular degeneration. You can maintain your blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercises.
Excessive exposure to direct blue and UV light can be harmful to your retina, which is responsible for your vision. You can wear eyeglasses to protect yourself from the scorching sun whenever you go out or use a digital screen.
Learn more about preventing macular degeneration, contact Battleground Eye Care in Greensboro, NC at (336) 564-6800 to schedule an appointment.