Is Macular Degeneration A Permanent Condition?

Macular degeneration is a disease of the retina that can cause complete vision loss. In most cases, it is relatively slow to develop but does require proper treatment.

In some cases, however, certain types of macular degeneration lead to a rapid loss of sight. It has the potential to cause vision loss in a matter of days after you notice the symptoms.

Following your eye doctor’s advice is critical to slow the progression of the disease and prevent vision loss. Keep reading to learn more about macular degeneration and find out how you can treat it.

What is Macular Degeneration

Also known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, macular degeneration is a disease that affects your macula. It causes a breakdown or deterioration of the macula, which is found at the center of your retina.

The result is loss of central vision, which allows you to see directly in front of you. Things like watching tv, reading, and seeing faces are the responsibility of your macula.

AMD doesn’t cause total blindness as it doesn’t affect your peripheral vision. That said, living with poor or no central vision is quite challenging. 

Macular degeneration has multiple stages which have different symptoms and effects. It begins with early AMD before progressing to intermediate and finally advanced AMD.

It’s important to note that every case is different. Not everyone with early AMD will have advanced AMD. Also, the progression of the disease varies in each eye and each person.

If you have advanced AMD, you may not necessarily lose all your central vision. But, any loss of central vision can disrupt your everyday routine.

What are the Stages of AMD?

Age-related macular degeneration has three main stages. Each stage gets progressively worse than the prior stage.

There is no cure for AMD, but treatment can slow down or halt the progression of the disease. There are also two types of AMD, dry and wet. Wet AMD causes more rapid vision loss than dry AMD.

Early AMD

This is the initial stage of dry AMD. It has no symptoms, and your vision remains intact at this stage.

But, it causes small deposits under the retina, called drusen, that only an ophthalmologist can detect. Usually, early AMD has small to medium-sized drusen.

If you have early AMD, your eye doctor will recommend steps to slow or prevent the deterioration of your vision. These include eye exams, vitamins, regular exercise, a clean diet, and management of all medical conditions.

Intermediate AMD

In intermediate AMD, the number of medium-sized drusen increases, and large ones develop. Visual symptoms also begin to occur with intermediate AMD. Symptoms of intermediate AMD include a blurry or blind spot in the center of your vision and difficulty reading with ordinary light.

Advanced AMD

In advanced AMD, new blood vessels may form under your retina and supportive tissue surrounding your macula. These blood vessels are weak and abnormal and fail to deliver blood and nutrients to your retina.

Also, light-sensitive cells in the macula may begin to break down. Symptoms of advanced AMD include

  • Many large drusen
  • More significant, darker blurred spots in your central vision
  • Difficulties with facial recognition, reading, and writing
  • Central vision loss

Macular Degeneration Prevention

Catching macular degeneration early with routine eye exams enables prompt vision-saving treatment. Timely treatment increases the likelihood of maintaining your central vision.

Be sure to have regular appointments with your eye doctor. If you notice blurry images or a blind spot in your central vision, seek medical treatment immediately.

Do you want to be sure you don’t have macular degeneration? Schedule an appointment at Joshi Eye Institute in Boynton Beach, FL, to have an eye exam. It could prevent central vision loss!

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