Macular Degeneration is an age-related deterioration of the macula. The macula, which is a part of the retina, is responsible for the central vision. The macula decreases in function over time. Therefore, a person with macular degeneration is not able to see things very well looking straight ahead. In fact objects become hazy and gray in color and eventually look as though there is a part missing.
There is no cure for macular degeneration however there are some precautions to follow that can help slow the progression of macular degeneration. They include not smoking, wearing quality protective sunglasses, and eating a healthy diet of leafy vegetables. Multivitamins can also play an important role in slowing the progression of this disease.
There are two types of Macular Degeneration: Dry Macular Degeneration and Wet Macular Degeneration
Dry, or atrophic, macular degeneration (also called non-neovascular macular degeneration) with drusen
Most people who have macular degeneration have the dry form. This condition is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. Dry Macular degeneration usually begins when tiny yellow or white pieces of fatty protein called drusen form under the retina. Eventually, the macula may become thinner and stop working properly.
With dry macular degeneration, vision loss is usually gradual. People who develop dry macular degeneration must carefully and constantly monitor their central vision. If you notice any changes in your vision, you should tell your Ophthalmologist right away, as the dry form can change into the more damaging form of macular degeneration called wet (exudative) macular degeneration. While there is no medication or treatment for macular degeneration, some people may benefit from a vitamin therapy regimen for macular degeneration.
Wet, or exudative, macular degeneration (also called neovascular macular degeneration)
About 10 percent of people who have macular degeneration have the wet form, but it can cause more damage to your central or detail vision than the dry form.
Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow underneath the retina. This blood vessel growth is called choroidal neovascularization (CNV) because these vessels grow from the layer under the retina called the choroid. These new blood vessels may leak fluid or blood, blurring or distorting central vision. Vision loss from wet macular degeneration may be faster and more noticeable than that from dry macular degeneration.
The longer these abnormal vessels leak or grow, the more risk you have of losing more of your detailed vision. Also, if abnormal blood vessel growth happens in one eye, there is a risk that it will occur in the other eye. The earlier that wet macular degeneration is diagnosed and treated, the better chance you have of preserving some or much of your central vision. That is why it is so important that you and your ophthalmologist monitor your vision in each eye carefully.
Dr. Krassin treats both wet and dry macular degeneration, and is very involved with patient needs to keep the eye condition in control. Schedule your consultation today 952-466-3937.