Macular degeneration causes the central portion of the retina (the macular) to break down. This results in significant vision problems.
Dry macular degeneration is the most commonly occurring type of macular degeneration. It is seen in around 90 percent of macular degeneration patients. This kind of macular degeneration causes deposits that are byproducts of the metabolic process to build up in the retinal area. The result is blurred or spotty vision. The other type of macular degeneration, wet macular degeneration, may sometimes begin as dry macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration is more serious than dry macular degeneration. When an inner eye membrane (the Bruch's membrane) starts to break down, very fragile blood vessels will grow in that area. Those new blood vessels will inevitably start to leak and bleed due to their delicacy. This results in macular scarring and can cause the narrowing or even the total loss of vision. Many people who have wet macular degeneration are legally blind.
The symptoms of macular degeneration can include one, several, or even all of the following: Struggling to see in low light conditions, blurriness in forward-facing vision, and visual distortions of any kind. The eye doctor can diagnose macular degeneration during an eye examination.
The treatment depends on the type of macular degeneration. With dry macular degeneration, there are not any specific treatments. However, there are some preventive measures that can be very effective, including the use of specific antioxidants via supplements. Wet macular degeneration does require treatment, and laser surgery is the most effective solution for most wet macular degeneration sufferers. In some cases, medications can be injected into the eye area. This can help preserve the structure of the eye and may delay the progress of wet macular degeneration.