Macular Degeneration is an eye disease that is located at the very center of the retina in the back of the inside of the eye. This area is called the macula and the cells in this part of the retina are lost or do not function with this condition.

The exact cause of macular degeneration is still unknown. However, recently scientists have isolated a gene that has been found to be deficient in many with the disease, and there is a known hereditary component that puts a person with a family history of macular degeneration at increased risk.

The disease is classified as two types.

In the “dry” form of Macular Degeneration, the tissue of the macula becomes thin and stops working properly. Vision loss in this form is usually gradual. The dry form is typically managed with supplemental eye vitamins and Lutein.

In the “wet” form of Macular Degeneraton, fluids from newly formed blood vessels leak into the macula. The “wet” form is usually more severe.Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans age 65 or older. The wet form is successfully treated if it is caught in its early stages. Seeing your optometrist at the first sign of visual distortion or blurriness is critical to successfully treating the wet form and not losing vision.

A comprehensive eye exam is needed to determine if a person has or is at risk for macular degeneration.


Author: Dr. George Hertneky

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