There are various eye diseases which could affect people as the age advances. One of the most chronic diseases is Macular Degeneration. It causes vision loss in the centre of field of vision. Age Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among people aged 60 year or above. Central vision allows us to see the objects clearly and perform day to day tasks efficiently.
Deterioration or breakdown of macula is the main cause for AMD. Though macula is a very small part of the retina yet it is a very important part which allows us to see fine details clearly. There are two types of age macular degeneration; Dry and wet macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is a very common form of eye diseases. In Wet macular degeneration blood vessels present at the back of eyes start leaking and further leads to swelling.
Dry macular degeneration though does not cause total blindness but it affects the central vision badly which is necessary for reading, driving and various other day to day activities. It could affect one or both eyes. But if only one eye is affected, there may be not any noticeable change in vision because one eye is working properly and compensates for the weak one.
The macular degeneration advances in three stages; early, immediate and advanced stage. At the early stage a few medium sized drusen is detected on macula in one or both eyes. You would not notice any change in vision. It is in the intermediate stage that the symptoms would appear and you might need extra light for doing work. In the advanced stage extensive damage to the macula is reported. A well defined blurring spot would be noticed in the central vision.
Increasing age, a family history of age macular degeneration, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, intake less fruits and vegetables; these are some of the factors which put you at higher risk of contracting age macular degeneration. If your skin colour is white or you are a female, the chances get higher.
If you do not pay heed to the symptoms of age macular degeneration, dry macular degeneration would soon progress to a more sever form i.e. wet macular degeneration. An ophthalmologist would treat such eye diseases. He would conduct various tests depending upon the symptoms. Some of these tests are for testing for defects in the central vision, examining the back of eye, angiogram of the blood vessels in the eye, optical coherence tomography.