Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration

One of the leading causes for vision loss in adults above the age of 50 years other than cataracts and glaucoma is macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is rapidly becoming one of the chief reasons for vision impairment affecting about five million adults in the States. At Euromedic Healthcare we understand that this painless eye condition affects the macula of the eye, which disintegrates leading to central vision loss and partial blindness. Macula is the central portion of the light sensitive retina of the eye. It is responsible for central vision and is required for performing finer tasks such as reading, driving, sewing, recognizing faces and to perform other detailed daily chores. Thus, when the cells of the macula begin to get damaged, our central vision gets affected, sparing the periphery of the vision. Once the cells of the macula get damaged the central vision gets disturbed, and goes from blurred to distorted to just black spots in the central field of vision early on in the disease. Brightness of objects also reduces. In advanced cases, people develop ‘legal blindness’ as in spite of a healthy and functioning retina, they do not have central vision which is important for everyday life.

Macular Degeneration

Age related degeneration

Macular degeneration is an age related condition which affects elderly adults and has a higher risk with increasing age. It affects both eyes eventually though the rate at which it affects both eyes can vary. The exact reason for why this degeneration occurs is still not understood clearly. Experienced and skilled team of ophthalmologists at Euromedic Healthcare understand that certain environmental and hereditary factors seem to play a role in its causation. A family history of macular degeneration along with advancing age seem to increase its risk.

Symptoms

Symptoms of macular degeneration are not so visible in the beginning unless both eyes are affected. One of the initial symptoms includes distortion of straight lines along with loss of central vision. Dark, black spots may appear in your centre field of vision. Types of macular degeneration Two types of macular degeneration are known:

  • Dry macular degeneration – this is most common. Cells of the macula get damaged along with accumulation of waste products in the eye causing gradual vision impairment.
  • Wet macular degeneration – There is formation of new minute blood vessels under the macula and begin to leak fluid. This is rarer, but rapidly progressed to vision loss and requires immediate treatment.

Treatments for macular degeneration There is no known cure for macular degeneration. Aim of therapy is mainly to slow down progression of the disease. Early stages of this condition show no symptoms other than deposits underneath the retina on examination. One must quit smoking as it tends to aggravate the condition. Advanced cases with total central vision loss can go for vision rehabilitation in order to be able to do daily tasks. Our panel of experienced doctors at Euromedic Healthcare provides suitable, individualized treatment plans according to the stage of degeneration. Magnifying glasses can also be used for improving vision. Injections are also available for the wet type of macular degeneration. A recent breakthrough in treatment of macular degeneration is usage of human embryonic and autologous stem cells of retinal support cells for improving vision. Studies are still in early stages, which suggest injecting these cells into the space behind the retina. Our expert team at Euromedic Healthcare is constantly working on these latest therapies, which seem quite feasible and promising. However, early detection is most vital to save rapid deterioration of vision.

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