Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

By Sharp SightOphthalmology

Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the vision in people more than 60 years of age. It is caused due to the weakening of the macular area which is an area in the retina that is sensitive to light. The ailment is so called because it develops as a person grows old.

Age related macular degeneration is of two types; ‘wet’ and ‘dry’; with both the types affecting the central vision of your eyes. However, neither of the types can cause total blindness.

Macular degeneration is broadly categorized into two types-

a) Wet Form:

In this state of defective vision, straight lines appear wavy. This is caused due to the unusual growth of blood vessels that leak blood and fluids into the retina. These blood veins grow from the choroid below the macula, a condition called “choroidal neovascularization”. These blood vessels cause loss of central vision.

b) Dry Form:

This is a kind of defect of the eyes where there are yellow deposits in the macula that lead to blurred vision. The light-sensitive cells present in the macula start becoming thin, leading to a condition called ‘atrophy’-tissue death. People may experience blind spots and even loss of central vision in this form of sight defect. The more common type of macular degeneration is this particular form.

Causes of Macular Degeneration:

Though the exact cause of macular degeneration is not known, smoking, age, genes, diet and gender are supposed to accelerate the chances of developing macular degeneration.

Preventive Measures:

1. Avoiding smoking and exposure to sunlight for long hours at a stretch.

2. Wearing sunglasses can keep your eyes protected.

3. Intake of food rich in vitamins A, C, E and Zinc hinders the development of age- related macular degeneration.