Macular Degeneration Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that makes you see more and more blurred.

In the back of the eye is the retina. In the center of the retina is the macula. The macula is important to look sharp. This lets you read and recognize faces. With the rest of the retina is the area. The environment shows less sharp but good enough example unhindered strike.

 Macular degeneration is an eye disease that makes you see more and more blurred Macular Degeneration Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

Is the retina bad blood? Then the macula can cause damage (degeneration). You then see less sharp.
There are several types of macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common. This form occurs mainly in people over fifty years. There are two forms:
  1. In dry AMD eyes go very slowly. It can take years before you really see less sharp. You must keep a close eye on your vision. Once you start to see deformities, you should contact your ophthalmologist. It may be that the dry AMD turns into wet AMD.
  2. In wet AMD, the eyes are rapidly worse. First straight lines appear crooked or wavy. Later you see more and more spots. Within days or weeks, you may be seriously impaired.
Sometimes develops macular degeneration at an early age: juvenile macular degeneration. This form is hereditary and quite rare.

By macular degeneration, you are not completely blind. The disease does have a major impact on your social life.

What causes macular degeneration?

The exact cause of macular degeneration (MD) is not known. However, it is known that the structure of the retina changes. There, liquid is lost between the layers of the retina or there is tissue (wear). Probably this is due to poor circulation in the retina. It is unclear why this happens precisely in the macula, and not in the rest of the eye.

 Macular degeneration is an eye disease that makes you see more and more blurred Macular Degeneration Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

When macular degeneration, doctors often speak of wear. That does not mean you have used your eyes wrong.

There are few known risk factors for macular degeneration:
  1. Age. The older you are, the greater the chance of MD. This is especially true for women. This is because they have less estrogen after menopause (hormone) in their blood. This increases the risk of MD.
  2. Smoking. People who smoke more than one pack of cigarettes per day, five times as likely to have the disease than people who do not smoke. After you stop smoking, it takes another fifteen years until the risk of MD returns to normal.
  3. Unhealthy diet. In particular, a lack of vegetables and fruits increases the risk of macular degeneration. Too much saturated fat and cholesterol rich foods increase the risk.
  4. Alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of MD.
  5. Heredity may play a role. Comes to you in the MD family? Then you also have a greater chance of getting this disease.

How does the doctor determines that you have macular degeneration?

Do you have symptoms associated with macular degeneration (MD)? Then the ophthalmologist will first measure your visual acuity. It will also consider whether you notice some anomalies.
You will probably get first eye drops in your eyes. These drops make the pupil temporarily greater. The doctor can look so good in your eye. Then the doctor looks at your eyes with a device with a light on it. They thus appear in your eye.

Often it is still required an additional investigation, e.g., a fluorescence angiography. In addition, you first get injected a dye into the arm. Then allows the ophthalmologist X-rays of the retina of both eyes. The dye on these photos the veins in the eyes to see. The ophthalmologist with it can see if you have macular degeneration and how severe it is.

Treatment for macular degeneration

The ophthalmologist can treat wet macular degeneration with:
  1. Injections into the eye. When dealing with injections into the eye ophthalmologist injects a vessel growth inhibitor. This treatment has to be repeated a number of times. At 70% of people with macular degeneration enter the eyes after these injections, no further backward. At 20-25% improves visual acuity even.
  2. Laser treatment. Wet MD is to be treated in 10% of the people with laser beams. The laser closed leaky blood vessels. The treatment prevents the bleeding is higher and that the sight is deteriorated. A laser treatment is only possible if the leaky blood vessels are far outside the center of the retina. Sometimes, it proves possible to slow down the MD or to bring to a halt.
For dry macular degeneration, there is no treatment. Probably the ophthalmologist does give dietary advice. If you eat lots of green and yellow vegetables, then it is possible that not deteriorate further your eyes. Often, the doctor recommends a dietary supplement.

What can you do to protect your eyes?

Macular degeneration (MD) is not curable. However, you can do several things to protect your eyes. This allows your sight is perhaps less rapidly:
  1. Protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses or a cap.
  2. Do not smoke.
  3. Drink little alcohol.
  4. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fat. Especially foods with vitamin C (orange, grapefruit, strawberry, melon), vitamin E (olive oil, nuts, grains, beans, mango) and zinc (meat, chicken, walnuts, sesame seeds) is good for the eyes. People who many carotenoids (certain dyes) ingestion appear to be less likely to MD. Carotenoids are found mainly in eggs, fruit and vegetables. Vegetables which many of these dyes are are: carrots, kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach, corn, broccoli, green peas, broad beans, tomatoes and lettuce. Fruits which many of these dyes are are: apple, kiwi, orange, grapefruit, mango, peach, nectarine, melon and grapes.

What impact does macular degeneration for everyday life?

Macular degeneration (MD) has many implications for everyday life.
Some people see from one moment to the less sharp and stand no more details. This causes problems when driving, reading, watching television and recognizing faces.

By MD may find that you can not do your work over time. Also, some hobbies are difficult with this eye disease. You may feel more and more alone. You have to live with low vision.
There are many tools for people with macular degeneration. Examples include enlargement devices and telescopic spectacles. You can get information about this at an optometrist or optician.

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