Age-related macular degeneration (AMD or AMRD) is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 50. Macular degeneration as it relates to aging usually affects the central vision, which is essential for reading, recognizing faces, driving, and performing other everyday tasks. The condition causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina, which is responsible for central vision.
Peripheral vision and night vision generally remain unaffected, but those with AMD might experience a slower adjustment of vision to dim or dark settings than usual. Nearly 8% of the world’s population is estimated to suffer from age-related macular degeneration. To recognize the warning signs of the condition, it best advised to understand how it is caused.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Aging is the primary cause of macular degeneration and can lead to severe vision loss amongst older people, especially women. If someone in your family has macular degeneration, you are also at a higher risk of developing it. Additionally, excessive smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, and having a lighter eye color can contribute to macular degeneration. It can also be caused as a side effect of certain drugs. Visit an eye hospital in Dubai for routine eye checkups and early detection.
Two Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Dry macular degeneration: Most people experience dry macular degeneration. This is an early stage of the condition and can be caused by aging or thinning of the macular tissues. Dry macular degeneration is characterized by yellow deposits in the macula. These yellow deposits are known as drusen, and as the drusen get bigger, they start to affect central vision.
- Wet macular degeneration: Though wet macular degeneration is rarer, dry macular degeneration can lead to wet macular degeneration. With this form of macular degeneration, new blood vessels grow from underneath your macular that leaks blood and fluid into your retina. These blood vessels can eventually cause scarring, which leads to a permanent loss of central vision.
Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The risk of macular degeneration increases with age, hence it is best to see an eye doctor in Dubai if any of the following symptoms are observed:
- Fuzzy vision
- Difficulty reading or seeing details
- Straight lines appear wavy or distorted either in one or both eyes
- Blind spots
- Objects looking smaller than normal
- Seeing dimmed colors
- Loss of central vision
- Red and painful eyes
How to Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration
There are other ways you can prevent age-related macular degeneration. If you have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, these tips can also help you stay healthy:
- Maintain a healthy weight by staying active
- Eat fewer saturated fats and incorporate more greens, fish, and whole grains into your diet
- Quit smoking
- Control other health conditions, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, by taking medication
- Wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors to protect your eyes
- Take supplements
- Understand your family history
- Test yourself with the Amsler grid, a tool used by doctors to detect vision problems. If the lines in the grid appear wavy, it’s best to consult your doctor immediately
Though there is no cure for macular degeneration, the condition may worsen over time and some treatments can help improve vision loss temporarily. To receive proper care and begin your treatment, consult one of our eye specialists at the Ebsaar Eye Surgery Center.