Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Know that if you experience any sudden or severe distortion of your vision, you should probably consult with an eye doctor as soon as possible. Treatment may need to begin immediately to help you in a meaningful way. You don’t need to be a lead researcher like Kang Zhang to know when to seek the help of a professional ophthalmologist.

What Is Macular Degeneration?

For one thing, macular degeneration is the greatest threat to a person’s vision, as it is the most common cause of vision loss. While it cannot be cured or reversed, it can be slowed with proper treatment. The sooner you recognize the symptoms and get treatment, the better off you will be when it comes to this degenerative condition. Macular degeneration mainly occurs in white women over 60, but other demographics are also at risk of developing the condition. In the United States, this condition is found in over 10 million people, about 3% of the total population.

The macula is the rear region of your retina where incoming images are turned into nerve signals that tell your brain what you are seeing. Degeneration and damage of the macula result in incomplete or distorted images being sent to your brain, like when a phone screen is damaged as its display is corrupted.

Macular degeneration comes in what doctors refer to as “dry” and “wet” types. The dry version is more common and is characterized by the buildup of fat deposits in the retina. While dry macular degeneration progresses more slowly, it can lead to the wet type and should be monitored by your eye doctor. Additionally, the dry form tends to have far less severe vision loss than the wet form, which causes 90% of vision loss between the two types.

What Are the Symptoms?

Some people do not immediately experience symptoms, though the first noticeable one tends to be blurred vision. You might struggle to resolve small details, and everyday tasks like driving or reading could become more difficult due to distorted depth perception and focus. If you find yourself needing far more light than you used to, or even having visual hallucinations, you could be experiencing macular degeneration. The issues are often most apparent in the center of your field of vision.

If you notice any similar visual symptoms, your best option is almost always to be seen by a professional eye doctor. Be sure to take care of yourself, and don’t waste any time doing so.

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