So What is Macular Degeneration?

Published 05/12/2022
by buildcreate

Macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is a medical disorder that causes blurry vision or blindness in the center of the visual field. The macula, which enables crisp, center vision, is damaged by macular degeneration.

The macula, is the most sensitive portion of the retina. The retina converts light into electrical signals, which are then sent to the brain via the optic nerve, where they are interpreted as perceived images. The center of your vision might become fuzzy, distorted, or dark when the macula is destroyed.

This will affect:

  • Vision Clarity: This distorts the identification of faces, watching TV, or driving.
  • Attention To Details: Reading books, sewing, crafting, and making repairs all require this ability for fine-tuning and greater work detail.

There are two types of Macular Degeneration, namely: Dry Macular degeneration and Wet Macular degeneration.

Dry macular degeneration.

This is the most common form of macular degeneration. The macula’s cells deteriorate gradually, causing a blurring in the eye’s central vision, then blank patches. The symptoms are mild at first, but they gradually become chronic. It is not uncommon for Wet macular degeneration to develop from dry macular degeneration in some circumstances.

Wet macular degeneration.

The dry form is the first stage of wet macular degeneration in every patient. There is the formation of new blood vessels behind the retina. Scarring occurs due to the new arteries leaking blood and fluids into the macula. Wet macular degeneration may result in rapid vision loss after days to weeks and total vision loss over time if left unmanaged.

Symptoms of AMD

It is prevalent for a person to live with AMD for a long time and not even realize it. The symptoms have a relatively slow build-up, so it is not the easiest to diagnose. Thus, it is always advised to watch the following symptoms.

  • Hazy vision
  • Color fading
  • The trouble with face recognition
  • Increase in the haziness of central vision
  • Straight lines appear wavy or crooked,
  • Having a blind spot in the center of your vision

Symptoms of Wet macular degeneration symptoms appear suddenly and rapidly worsen. They are as follows:

  • Straight lines may look wavy or twisted due to distorted vision; reduced central vision
  • The decreased color intensity or brightness
  • In your field of vision, there is a hazy or blind patch.

Note that, in chronic cases of macular degeneration, side vision is usually unaffected.

Living with low vision

AMD damages the vision to an irreparable extent, but it is not complete blindness. Some options and methods help optimize what little vision is left. This is achieved through optical devices and other technological advancements.

Optical devices consist of the following:

Handheld magnifying lenses

Magnifying spectacles

Computer monitors with large type

Stand magnifiers

Non-optical devices:

  • Large print books
  • Speech-enabled electronic devices
  • Enhanced lighting
  • High-contrast watch dials

For more information, diagnostics, and AMD related Q&A, visit https://www.aao.org/eyecare-america/resources/eye-health-organizations, https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration

References: Eye Health Organizations – American Academy of Ophthalmology (aao.org)