Macular degeneration is an eye problem that affects many people. It is often found in elderly individuals as a symptom of aging. However, despite how many individuals are diagnosed with macular degeneration, many have no idea what the term means. Even if you are not currently showing the symptoms of macular degeneration, knowing what it is, what causes it, and how to identify it can help you find medical assistance later.
A Closer Look at Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can be experienced in dry and wet forms. The wet form appears when blood vessels extend up behind the retina from the choroid. This can also cause the retina to detach. In instances of dry macular degeneration, debris accumulates between the choroid and the retina, which can also cause a retinal detachment. In its early stages, the patient may still have good vision, although as the symptoms worsen seeing will become much more difficult.
The Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Those diagnosed with macular degeneration display a number of common symptoms. The patient may notice their vision becoming blurry. Colors become harder to differentiate, especially similar shades of the same color. General vision distortion is another common symptom of macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration patients that see a bright light notice that it takes longer for their eyes to adjust back to normal vision after the light is gone. As the problem progresses, the symptoms will become more severe. Patients also notice portions of their vision completely missing as dark spots appear. Significant drusen accumulation is another sign. Drusen is a white or yellow material that builds up in the Bruch’s membrane. Individuals over 40 have some Drusen, but patients with macular degeneration notice larger quantities.
Slowing the Progression of Macular Degeneration
Some patients take action to slow the progression of macular degeneration. There has been some success with omega 3 fatty acid consumption in early cases. Others turn to vitamin and mineral supplements. Treatment should always be overseen by a medical professional to avoid other potential medical conditions that can stem from misuse of supplements.