Macular degeneration is a disease characterized by damaged area called macula in the eye. Macula is the central area of the retina, which provides the most detailed central vision. We can read or pass some thread through a needle by means of this special area.
When macula dysfunctions, we complain about cloudiness and darkness of the objects we see. Although macular degeneration reduces the central vision, the peripheral vision remains unaffected. To give an example, we can see a clock on the wall but we cannot tell what time it is. Macular degeneration will not result in total blindness. Most patients will have enough sight to look after themselves.
Approximately one person out of 4-5 over 50 years of age and one person out of two 85 years of age will have findings of macular degeneration.
There are two types of macular degeneration;
The two major risk factors include;
It can manifest with various symptoms in different persons. Although one eye has a highly progressed loss of vision, the other eye will be able to remain healthy for years. It is not easy to diagnose macular degeneration in early period. You may have difficulty in reading and working if both of the eyes are affected.
In addition to routine examination evaluating the visual acuity, a detailed retinal examination plays an important role in diagnosis of the disease. There is a simple test you can have at home by yourself in addition to regular examinations to establish early diagnosis.
Amsler Grid Test
This test allows you to detect initial symptoms of wet macular degeneration. If the lines look bent, distorted or missing you should immediately consult you’re your doctor.
There are recent studies about new treatment alternatives. One of the current treatment options is photodynamic therapy. This therapy is a two-stage procedure and involves IV injection of a drug activated by light and non-burner laser application.
If the lines look missing or bent, it might indicate a damaged visual cortex. In this case, you must see an eye doctor immediately.
It is likely to detect all macular degenerations using ''Amsler Grid Test''.