Macular Degeneration

© American Academy of Ophthalmology

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a deterioration of the central back part of the eye. This part of the eye is called the macula and is responsible for everyone’s central vision. Typically, ARMD occurs due to the natural aging process of the eyes. The following are possible risk factors for ARMD:

  1. Caucasian race.
  2. Heredity – if someone in your close family has ARMD, you have a greater chance of getting macular degeneration.
  3. Smoking – smokers are at a higher risk.
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. High cholesterol.

Symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Blurry distance and near vision
  • Having trouble reading and recognizing faces
  • A blind/black spot in your central vision
  • Straight lines appear crooked
  • No central vision
  • Colors do not appear as bright

There are two types of macular degeneration:

  1. Dry macular degeneration
  • This is the most common type of macular degeneration.
  • Dry macular degeneration occurs when the back eye tissue (retina) thins out and can collect a material called drusen. As the macula thins out, people typically lose their vision gradually.
  1. Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration occurs when new and abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye. These new blood vessels leak fluid and blood which damage the back of the eye (macula). This leakage causes central vision loss.

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