How many of us actually know what the macula is or what is does? To better understand the ocular disease Macular Degeneration let’s take a look at this important part of the retina. The macula is the center of the retina and is responsible for providing us with our central vision. Central vision is what we see detail with; it allows us to see the fine print, small objects, color and gives us depth perception. Without our macula 3-D movies could not be appreciated and we would have problems judging distances. So now that we know what it is, why should you be concerned with Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is a complex eye disease that causes deterioration of the macula cells. Macular Degeneration can be linked to intricate interactions of both environmental and genetic factors. While the exact cause is unknown, evidence suggests that certain key factors such as; sunlight exposure majorly ultraviolet light, high energy blue light exposure from cell phones computer screens, smoking, alcohol use and diets low in carotenoids can increase a person’s likelihood of developing this disease.
There are two forms of Macular Degeneration Wet and Dry. These diseases are considered the leading cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 50. Case studies also show that they are the leading cause in permanent visual impairment in the United States. Only a comprehensive eye exam can determine if you have Macular Degeneration. Below we’ll list some common symptoms related to Macular Degeneration, but remember these symptoms may also be indicators of other eye health problems. So if you are experiencing any of these please contact a doctor of optometry as soon as possible.
Signs and Symptoms of Macular Degeneration:
- Gradual loss of the ability to see objects clearly
- Objects appear to be distorted in shape
- Straight line appear wavy or crooked
- Gradual loss of color vision
- A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision