Macular degeneration is an eye disease that’s common among the aging population. The macula can be found in the retina, and it is largely attributed to helping individuals with detailed vision (for example, reading small print, identifying street signs, etc.). When the macula starts to break down as a result of the aging process, it becomes much more difficult for people to undertake detailed and intricate tasks.
In addition to age-related macular degeneration, individuals can suffer from dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration, which can be broken down as follows:
• Dry macular degeneration: This involves the thinning of the tissues of the macula, which can cause it to stop working as normal. Vision loss is typically gradual, which is why it’s important for individuals to consult with their ophthalmologist if they notice any symptoms of macular degeneration.
• Wet macular degeneration: Approximately 10 percent of individuals who suffer from macular degeneration have this type, which can cause a significant amount of damage to detailed vision. This is caused when abnormal veins grow under the macula; when these veins begin to leak, it can distort the vision. Wet macular degeneration causes faster vision loss, which is why it’s so important to have regular check-ups with your ophthalmologist, as this can be effectively treated when diagnosed at an early stage.
In order to maintain your eye health, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of macular degeneration as soon as they occur. These symptoms can include the following:
• For Dry Macular Degeneration: Blurry vision when reading; experiencing the need for bright light to see close objects; colors are less vivid and bright; hazy vision; difficulty adjusting from bright to low lights; trouble recognizing facets; blurry spots in your central vision. These symptoms can be experienced in one or both eyes.
• For Wet Macular Degeneration: Distorted vision; dark spots in your vision; loss of central vision; objects appear different in each eye; dull colors. If you’re experiencing these symptoms and they’re quickly getting worse, make an appointment with your ophthalmologist right away.
Those who are most at risk for macular degeneration include people who experience chronic stress, a family history of macular degeneration, bouts of inflammation, and those individuals who are smokers.
To protect the health of your eyes, it’s important to schedule regular appointments with your ophthalmologist. Visit Dr. Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA – also serving the Washington, DC area – for a consultation. To schedule your consultation please complete the form in the top left corner or call 703-834-9777.