What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is one of the less commonly known eye conditions, but is actually more prevalent than cataracts and glaucoma combined! Macular Degeneration occurs with the central portion of the retina begins to deteriorate. The retina is vital to the eye’s health, as it is the portion of the eye that records the images we see and sends them to the brain via the optic nerve. The macula is the central portion of the retina, and helps the eye to focus central vision. It is directly responsible of allowing us to do things like read, recognize faces, and drive a car. As macular degeneration develops, patients will begin to experience wavy or blurred vision in their central line of sight, but will still retain their peripheral vision, although it will be not as clear as it once way.
How to Diagnose Macular Degeneration
In the early stages of macular degeneration, patients may not experience any difficulties with their vision. Macular Degeneration is diagnosed at an early stage based on the present of drusen, a yellowish deposit beneath the retina. As macular degeneration develops, vision may begin to weaken. Our team at Marano Eye Care is constantly monitoring our patients with macular degeneration for additional drusen buildup around the retina.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
The direct cause for macular degeneration is not known, but it has been determined that it is caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, as well as lifestyle choices that the patient makes. Patients who have smoked, or do smoke, have doubled their risk of developing macular degeneration later in life. A change in diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, and proper eye protection from UV light are all ways that a patient may help to slow the development of macular degeneration.