Macular Degeneration

It occurs when the macula of the eye lose its proper structure .The blood vessels and the proteins present in the body including cholesterol  affect the eye sight of the people suffering from this disease. .Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in most developed countries.

Causes      

  • Damage to the area around blood vessels that supply the macula.
  • Hereditary
  • Caucasian race
  • Cigarette smoking
  • High-fat diet
  • Female gender
  • Obesity

Classification–

  1. Dry macular degeneration

Occurs when the blood vessels under the macula become thin and brittle. Small yellow deposits, called drusen, form. Almost all people with macular degeneration start with the dry form.

  1. Wet macular degeneration

Occurs in only about 10% of people with macular degeneration. New abnormal and very fragile blood vessels grow under the macula. This is called choroidal neovascularization. These vessels leak blood and fluid. This form causes most of the vision loss associated with the condition.

Symptoms And Signs

  • Blurred vision
  • Damaged central vision
    1. objects look distorted and dim
    2. colors look faded
    3. blurred/dark spot gets larger and darker.
    4. vision loss can occur very quickly
  1.  
  • Can not read print or other details
  • Can walk and perform most routine activities
  • May need more light to read or perform everyday tasks.
  • Straight lines appear distorted and wavy.
  • Not able to recognize faces until they are close.
  • Complete vision loss never occurs

 Investigations

  1. Complete retinal check-up
  2. Fluorescein angiogram
  3. Fundus photography
  4. Optical coherence tomography (OCT)

 Treatment–

Once dry macular degeneration becomes advanced or severe, no treatment can restore lost vision.

  • Medicines

AREDS formula (vitamin C + beta-carotene+ zinc+copper)

lutein

zeaxanthin

  • Laser photocoagulation
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Anti-angiogenesis, anti-VEGF therapy
  • Low-vision aids ( special lenses)
  • Self-testing at home with an Amsler grid. Test each eye individually with the vision correction you normally wear for reading.

Complications

Loss of vision

Prevention

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet ( high in fruits and vegetables and low in animal fat)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight

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