Macular degeneration is a disease caused by damage to the center portion of the retina called macula. This area is where you process 80% of your vision and it is where photoreceptors are most dense.
The center of the macula is the fovea and helps you process fine detail vision, reading vision, and distance vision. In macular degeneration the macula stops working as explained down below leaving you with peripheral or side vision.
Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration:
Dry macular degeneration which is the most common type occurs when yellow deposits called drusen progressive thin out the macula. Progression of dry macular degeneration usually takes a long time and does not always lead to wet macular degeneration.
Wet macular degeneration arises from existing dry ARMD. This occurs in 10 to 15% of people with dry ARMD. Abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina in the area of the macula. These vessels leak fluid, bleed, and lift up the retina. This can reduce central vision and also distort the vision. There is an increased risk of the other eye developing wet ARMD if one eye has it.
Symptoms of macular degeneration generally involve vision loss. There is no pain. Vision loss generally occurs gradually and typically affects each eye at different rates. In the early stages the condition may be hardly noticeable. One of the first symptoms is distortion. Straight lines will not look straight. A telephone pole may seem slightly bent. Later colors may not seem the same in each eye and you may see a gray spot similar to the after effect caused by a flashbulb.
Causes of ARMD are generally unknown. Women are at higher risk then men and Caucasians are more likely then African Americans to develop ARMD. Smoking, high-fat, and high cholesterol diet are all risk factors.
Diagnosis occurs with a thorough eye exam including visual acuity test, dilated pupil examination and other tests that may be ordered by your doctors discretion.
Therapy will be discussed with Dr. Khemsara depending on your stage of ARMD.
The National Eye Institute’s Age Related Eye Disease Study found that taking a specific set of vitamins reduces the risk of advanced AMD. Dr. Khemsara believes in taking the highest quality vitamins available and supports Science Based Health vitamins. He will discuss all options available.