As a disease usually associated with aging, macular degeneration is also called age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), though there are other, less common types of macular degeneration.
The initial symptoms of macular degneration is variable. Initial symptoms may include a gradual loss of central vision needed to perform everyday tasks like driving or reading, and a reduced ability to see small visual details like fine print or patterns. Progression of macular degeneration leads to gradual central vision loss.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans over age 60. It is caused by the gradual degeneration of the macula, the portion of the eye responsible for the center vision. Macular degernation presents itself in two forms: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Of the two, the “dry” form is far more common.
Macular Degeneration Statistics
Currently, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in persons over age 60. Caucasians are far more likely to lose vision from ARMD than African Americans, and studies show that obesity, smoking, and exposure to UV rays may also be risk factors for developing the disease.
Macular degeneration tends to affect women more than men, and has also been linked to heredity. Nearly 90% of all diagnosed ARMD is the dry form.
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Macular degeneration (also called AMD, ARMD, or age-related macular degeneration) is an age-related condition in which the most sensitive part of the retina, called the macula, starts to break down and lose its ability to create clear visual images.
Dry macular degeneration symptoms include: consistent, slightly blurred vision within your central visual field. You may have difficulty in recognizing faces. And have a sudden need for more light while reading or working. The dry form of this disease gets progressively worse, over time. Wet macular degeneration symptoms include: a distortion of straight lines and an inability to focus properly on a single point within a grid. Wet macular degeneration is an advanced stage of the disease, and often results in blind spots and loss of centralized vision.<
Macular degeneration symptoms vary based on the particular form of the disease (dry or wet), and the stage the disease at the time it is discovered.
There is as yet no outright cure for macular degeneration, but some treatments may delay its progression or even improve vision.