Many people find themselves asking, “What is macular degeneration?” after they have been diagnosed with the condition. This can be a very bad thing when dealing with a disease where timing is so important. The earlier the condition is detected, the better off the patient will be. Early detection can lead to a treatment plan in the early stages, and more years with good eye sight for the patient. There are two types of macular degeneration and each progresses at a different rate.
What is Macular Degeneration in Dry Form?
Dry macular degeneration is the slower of the two types. Just because it takes longer doesn’t mean the patient should wait to seek medical assistance when they notice symptoms. In cases of dry macular degeneration, the eye begins to lose photoreceptors (also known as rods and cones) as a result of atrophy. There are no medical treatment options available today that can completely cure this condition. Patients can still combat it using a treatment plan.
Most doctors will recommend that the patient begin a regiment of vitamins and supplements. These have been known to help slow the development of dry macular degeneration. Some patients even regain some of their eye sight, although the condition will continue to progress over time.
What is Macular Degeneration in Wet Form?
In wet form, macular degeneration happens a little differently. This form occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow through the Bruch’s membrane. These vessels tend to be delicate, and will lead to leaking, bleeding, and eventually scarring of the eye. The rods and cones will begin to deteriorate. If not treated quickly, wet macular degeneration can cause permanent damage.
Today, patients with wet macular degeneration have a number of treatment options. These generally include injected drugs and laser therapy. A physician can make a recommendation based on individual situations. Patients should remember that in both wet and dry forms, knowledge and quick action can make a huge difference in the impact the condition has on their lives. Asking “what is macular degeneration” now can help you identify the problem later.