The macula is the central part of the retina
and is responsible for sharp central vision and colors. Macular Degeneration
is a process of wear and tear on the macula. This in turn causes a loss
in your central vision. It affects your ability to read, drive and see
straight ahead clearly.
What causes Macular Degeneration?
There are several theories. The main one is a lack of nourishment to
the cells in the macula. This can be caused by a lack of good circulation.
Will it lead to Blindness?
Macular Degeneration rarely leads to total blindness as the side vision
is unaffected. You generally retain your peripheral vision.
What can be done?
If you have what is called the “dry” type, very often no treatment
is recommended. However, we may recommend a nutritional supplement. If
you have the “wet” type, we may refer you to a retinal specialist
for laser or other treatment to arrest the progress of the disease. With
either type, it is very important to have annual eye examinations to follow
the condition. You may be given an “Amsler Grid” test. This
is a card that will help you notice distortion in your vision.
How Can You Cope with Loss of Central Vision?
There are many low vision aids which can help you read, play cards, etc.
State libraries have free cassette players and “talking books”.
There are many types of magnifiers and large print books, clocks and telephones.
We can direct you to places and organizations that can help.
Read Macular Degeneration Grows With an Aging America to learn more.
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