Macular degeneration is a leading cause of visual impairment among persons over the age of 65 years, afflicting up to one-third of this population. It involves the center of the retina, with which we see most acutely, and can manifest in the more common "dry form" or the more devastating "wet form." Although we do not yet have a definitive cure or method of prevention, there are now treatments that can be recommended to reduce the risk of visual loss, including Anti-VEGF injections and Photodynamic Therapy. In addition, considerable research is being done to find better treatments.
The wet form of macular degeneration is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels beneath the central part of the retina. These abnormal vessels leak fluid and blood under the retina, causing a serious or hemorrhagic elevation to form. This leads to scar tissue and a large blind spot. The macula is responsible for what is often called ‘straight ahead’ vision and is what allows you to do everyday tasks like reading, recognizing faces, performing computer work, and driving.
Detecting Macular Degeneration:
- Declining vision identified during comprehensive eye exam
- Straight lines appear distorted
- The center of vision appears more distorted than the rest of the visual "scene"
- Reduced or changes in color perception
- Dark or blurry area or "white-out" spot in the center of vision