Macular degeneration is the progressive damage of the macular region of the retina. This loss of central vision caused due to Macular degeneration is often irreversible. This is sometimes called as Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as it is more often found in poeple with age above 50 years. It is also found in children very rarely.
There is a wet and dry type of Macular degeneration. MD has become a very major problem as millions of people are affected with it. This is usually not seen in younger people. In MD, a person goes blind slowly and progressively.
Symptoms of Macular degeneration
First the symptoms usually start with blurred vision. This can happen very gradually. If only one eye is affected, the person may not notice for some time. Colour vision can deteriorate too.
In the beginning peripheral vision will remain intact and the central vision deteriorates gradually. This type is only seen in dry Macular degeneration.
Some people may suddenly notice that, their vision is distorted. Straight line becomes bent or wavy or there may be gaps in the vision. This may be the sign of wet Macular degeneration and should be treated as an emergency.
Sometimes the person may begin with DMD and then develop the wet form in the same eye. Some conditions affecting younger people are usually the wet form of Macular degeneration.
Treatments available for Macular degeneration.
If you are a person above the age 50 it is always good to have a regular eye check up.
It is always advised to consult a doctor as soon as you feel some problem with your vision. The doctor can help you out from further complications.
Currently there is no treatment available to reverse the damage caused by age-related macular degeneration. But, to some extent, treatments may slow the progression of the disease or prevent severe vision loss.
There are several treatments available, including:
The drugs that can prevent the formation of new blood vessels in the retina is given. In many cases, with this treatment, the patients have regained their vision that was almost lost, this may need regular follow-up visits.
2) Laser therapy.
Here the laser light is used to destroy the abnormal growing blood vessels that occur in AMD.
3) Photodynamic laser therapy or photochemotherapy.
Here a light- sensitive drug is injected into the blood. This drug will be absorbed by the abnormally grown blood vessels in the eye. Now the doctor exposes the blood vessel to a light of standardized wavelength. This activates the drug, causing the destruction of the abnormally grown blood vessels.
Some studies conducted by National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, showed that for certain individuals, vitamins A, C and, E, and minerals like zinc, and copper can reduce the risk of vision loss.
Submacular surgery is done to remove abnormal blood vessels and retinal transplantation surgery is also done in some of the cases.
6) Vision aids
Some special lenses are available which helps to improve the vision of the person affected by macular degeneration.