Macular degeneration is a weakening of the macula in the back of the eye. When healthy, this structure allows you to perform detailed tasks such as reading and driving. When this area is not functioning properly, a compromise of the central vision will result.
Did you know…
that macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss in America? Currently, there are approximately 1.8 million adults over age 40 who have macular degeneration – most of whom are seniors ages 75 and up. Even more – 7.3 million – are currently considered at high risk of developing the disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimates the prevalence of macular degeneration to grow, reaching nearly 3 million by the year 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?
The deterioration of vision, sometimes involving both eyes, can present with different symptoms from one person to the next. For some, the condition may be hardly noticeable in its early stages, especially if only one eye is affected. However when both eyes are affected, the loss of central vision may be noticed more quickly.
Since macular degeneration can affect only one eye, it is important to check each eye separately for:
- Words that appear blurry on a page, computer or magazine
- Missing or darkened central vision
- Straight lines that appear distorted, curved or wavy
What is the treatment for macular degeneration?
The exact causes of macular degeneration are not fully known and thus the treatment has remained elusive. However, regular use of select antioxidant vitamins may reduce the negative effect the degeneration has on the macula. Your doctor can discuss the use of vitamins as it relates to slowing vision loss and other roles vitamins can play in helping some people maintain their vision.