[appbox windowsstore ][appbox windowsstore ]Macular Degeneration (MD) is currently responsible for most of the vision loss and affects at least 10 million Americans, which is more than some of the most leading causes like glaucoma and cataracts. As an eye disease, MD is currently incurable and can only be controlled or managed.
The best eye doctor in Pittsburgh explains that as the central part of the retina deteriorates, an individual is likely to be diagnosed with MD. The retina is located at the back of the eye. It is responsible for recording the images as viewed by the eye. It then sends them to the brain via the optic nerve for further interpretation. They come back as the images we see. The macula is centrally located in the retina and focuses central vision. While controlling the ability to read and perform other day-to-day functions. Functions like recognizing faces, differentiating colors, driving a vehicle, and seeing the finer details in objects.
Causes and Risk Factors
There are two major types of Macular Degeneration: dry and wet. Stages of Age-related Macular Degeneration can be classified as Early, Intermediate, and Late AMD. However, not much research has been done to unravel the specific causes of this condition, as research and development have been limited by the insufficient funding that has continuously posed a challenge for stakeholders. The current knowledge on the subject points to a complex eye problem that is both hereditary as well as environmental.
However, some of the known risk factors include age, as the disease is likely to affect the individuals aged 55 years and older. Individuals with a family history of this condition are also at risk. Lifestyle factors are also expected to contribute to AMD. Caucasians/Whites are more likely than Hispanics/ Latinos or Africa Americans to develop AMD. Bad habits like smoking have also shown to double the risk of the condition.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Most people experience no unusual symptoms at all in the early stages. Some would expect to suffer vision loss, but sometimes they don’t. With this, it is essential to visit your eye doctor for a thorough eye examination or checkup. Individuals with two or more risk factors are particularly encouraged to go for regular eye exams for early AMD diagnosis, which is characterized by yellow deposits (drusen) situated beneath the back of the eye (the retina). On the other hand, intermediate AMD may cause some form of vision loss, but some people may still not experience any vision loss at all. Further tests may aim at locating larger drusen and possible changes in the pigment in the retina. In contrast, late AMD is characterized by noticeable vision loss.
Macular Degeneration Treatment
According to most recent studies, AMD has no known cure. But people can do some things to minimize their risk of developing the condition. Slow down its progression as soon at an eye doctor has diagnosed you. Doctors often recommend lifestyle changes such as exercise, dieting, quitting smoking, using protective eyewear to protect the eyes from the dangerous UV rays of the sun, and taking occasional breaks from the computer. If the doctor’s instructions are followed, people can learn to live with Age-related Macular Degeneration.