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Macular Degeneration

 

Macular degeneration is where the center of the inner lining of the eye, known as the macula area of the retina, suffers thinning, atrophy, and in some cases bleeding.

This can result in loss of central vision, which entails inability to see fine details, to read, or to recognize faces. Macular degeneration is leading cause of central vision loss (blindness) and in the United States today for those over the age of fifty years.

Cause of Macular Degeneration

There is no commonly known cause of macular degeneration - however, causes are likely to be related to a combination of genetics and environment. Macular degeneration often runs in families. Factors impacting one propensity to macular degeneration include: skin color, iris color, gender, smoking, obesity, sleep apnea, exposure to sunlight, medications and high degrees of myopia.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Macular degeneration is typified by:

  • Blurred vision - may be a gradual loss or a rapid onset of vision loss.
  • Central scotomas - shadows or missing areas of vision
  • Distorted vision - a grid of straight lines appears wavy and parts of the grid may appear blank.
  • Trouble discerning colors - especially between colors of similar darkness or lightness.
  • Slow recovery - of visual function after exposure to bright light

Amsler Grid

Macular Degeneration can be tested with the Amsler Grid. This simple and effective test helps to monitor the function of the macula or central area of vision.

Fluorescein Angiogram

Fluorescein angiography is also used to identify and localize any abnormal vascular processes. Optical coherence tomography is now used by most ophthalmologists in the diagnosis and the followup evaluation of the response to treatment by using either Avastin or Lucentis which are injected into the vitreous of the eye at various intervals.

Prevention & Treatment Of Macular Degeneration

NEXT: Mesothelioma


 

 
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