Macular Degeneration Symptoms and Causes

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the gradual degeneration or breakdown of the macula, the part of your retina that controls straight-ahead vision and coordinates its direction. AMD may lead to blurred central vision as well as difficulty seeing fine details clearly, which may compromise your ability to see clearly in near-dark environments.

Your doctor can detect early symptoms of macular degeneration by performing an examination with an Amsler grid or fundus fluorescein angiography test.

Dry Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects the macula, an area located in the centre of your retina and located behind your eyeball. The macula is responsible for your central vision allowing you to read, drive and recognize faces as well as fine details and colors which become blurred or distorted in macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is currently one of the leading causes of blindness in people aged 60+; however it should be remembered that you will still retain peripheral (side) vision which allows you to see things such as trees and street signs.

Macular degeneration comes in two varieties, dry and wet. Over 85% of cases fall under the dry category where tiny yellow deposits known as drusen accumulate under the retina, eventually causing it to thin and stop functioning altogether. There is no pain involved; instead central vision loss happens gradually over time without any noticeable pain-induced disruption to life activities or routine. With dry ARMD however, peripheral vision remains good so daily life should continue as usual with no complications from central vision loss.

Wet ARMD is less common but more severe. When abnormal blood vessels form beneath the retina and leak fluid or blood into the macula, scar tissue may form quickly leading to rapid loss of central vision. Individuals suffering from wet form of ARMD often do not show warning symptoms but may occasionally notice straight lines appearing wavy or dark spots in their vision center.

Though macular degeneration cannot be reversed, certain medications may help slow its progress. Regular eye exams for those over 50 are highly recommended to detect early symptoms of dry or wet macular degeneration and provide treatments immediately so as to stop further progression of disease.

Atrophic Macular Degeneration

The macula is the small area of retina located at the back of your eye which provides central vision. It allows you to read, use computers or smartphones, drive safely, recognize faces and colors, as well as see fine details. Macular degeneration is a condition which leads to reduced central vision; you may notice straight objects appear crookedly or that there are dark or blank areas in your field of vision; additionally you may experience difficulty with color recognition and recognising faces; additionally it could affect fine details that once were visible before. Macular degeneration also affects driving conditions as it changes central part of your field of vision causing difficulties while reading or working on computers or smartphones or driving while viewing fine details of objects. Macular degeneration can affects central field of vision causing reduced central vision loss; which in turn affects central part of field of vision impairment, leading to impaired central part of field of vision; when combined with Macular Degeneration caused decreased central field of vision due to reduced central field of vision, dark or blank center of vision loss due to reduced central part of field of vision impairment affecting central part of field of vision; this affects central part of field of vision reduction, making straight objects look crooped as well as difficulties recognising faces as well as difficulty recognising faces as well as loss due to loss in detail as well.

As Atrophic Macular Degeneration progresses, yellow deposits known as Drusen can form under the retina and gradually spread, eventually covering large sections. Over time this leads to vision decline and geographic atrophy – gradually diminishing daily tasks that were once possible.

Wet macular degeneration, while less prevalent than dry macular degeneration, occurs when abnormal blood vessels form under the retina and leak fluid, blood, or other materials into the eye resulting in blurry central vision. This condition is sometimes known as exudative macular degeneration and can result in more rapid central vision loss than its dry counterpart.

Wet ARMD can be diagnosed by using fundus photography or optical coherence tomography (OCT). Alternately, fluorescein angiography studies may also be recommended, which involves injecting dye into a vein in your arm before taking digital photographs of your retina for 8-10 hours as it travels through macular region of retina; dye highlights leaky new blood vessels which are detected using high-powered lens examination of retinal circulation by your doctor.

One of the best ways to slow the progress of macular degeneration is to visit your ophthalmologist regularly for comprehensive eye exams. He or she will conduct a complete eye health exam including history review, slit lamp examination, various vision testing procedures and eye health analysis.

Leaky Blood Vessels

Under wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels form under the macula in each eye and leak blood and fluid, lifting it out from its original position in your eyeball and distorting central vision; creating blind spots; making reading or driving difficult while peripheral (side) vision remains clear.

Wet macular degeneration usually appears gradually and affects both eyes, with its symptoms gradually progressing over time. Early signs include straight lines appearing crooked or wavy and the development of dark areas in your central vision, distortion of straight objects like window blinds or door frames and loss of fine details in color vision. If wet ARMD is present, medication or laser treatments may help slow its progression while improving vision quality over time.

Your doctor will use an Amsler grid to detect changes in your central vision. They may also prescribe drops to dilate (enlarge) your pupils so that a retina specialist can gain better access to the back of your eye and search for signs of wet ARMD such as small yellow deposits under the retina known as drusen and large blind spots with wavy or crooked lines in central vision or any wavy or crooked lines that appear.

Optocoherence tomography angiography (OCTA), an alternative to fluorescein angiography, provides noninvasive measures of wet macular degeneration caused by new blood vessel leakage. Furthermore, this test can identify macular holes or retinal tears as well as their extent.

Studies have demonstrated the power of diet rich in antioxidants to ward off macular degeneration and other eye conditions, including AMD. Foods rich in these essential nutrients include leafy green vegetables, berries, tomatoes and squash. Lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids in particular can aid macular health – they’re naturally present in foods like kale, raw spinach and collard greens as well as available through nutritional supplements.


A cataract is the clouding, or haziness, of your natural lens inside of your eye that helps focus light onto the retina where visual images form. Over time a cataract can cloud this vital function of the eye, hindering reading, driving or recognising faces; furthermore it may increase glare sensitivity in bright sunlight or headlights as it grows more and more visible.

Cataracts form when protein clumps form on the eye’s lens. These protein deposits limit how much light reaches the retina, leading to blurry or foggy vision. Cataracts may also occur due to changes in lens color from clear to yellowish or brownish, making early diagnosis crucial for maintaining central vision.

Over 85% of those diagnosed with macular degeneration suffer from dry macular degeneration, in which tiny yellow protein deposits called drusen grow beneath the macula and interfere with its function. Wet macular degeneration occurs less frequently but is more serious as abnormal blood vessels begin leaking fluid or blood into it from within, leading to scarring in the macula itself.

No type of macular degeneration results in complete blindness; mild to moderate vision loss may still be possible to live an active lifestyle with only mild impairment. Your eye doctor can detect early signs of macular degeneration by conducting an eye exam; an Amsler grid test is often helpful to quickly ascertain whether decreased vision is related to macular degeneration or another cause.

Fluorescein angiography, also known as Fluorescein Angiography, is one way of treating wet macular degeneration that can be conducted in your doctor’s office. The process entails injecting special dye into the body, then taking photographs as it passes through retinal blood vessels – this way leaking or bleeding areas can be identified on photographs taken of you by fluorescein angiography. Another treatment called Photocoagulation with Visudyne (Photodynamic Therapy), uses laser technology to target and destroy abnormal blood vessel growth within macula areas.

About the Author:
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Alexander Suprun

Alex started his first web marketing campaign in 1997 and continues harvesting this fruitful field today. He helped many startups and well-established companies to grow to the next level by applying innovative inbound marketing strategies. For the past 26 years, Alex has served over a hundred clients worldwide in all aspects of digital marketing and communications. Additionally, Alex is an expert researcher in healthcare, vision, macular degeneration, natural therapy, and microcurrent devices. His passion lies in developing medical devices to combat various ailments, showcasing his commitment to innovation in healthcare.


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