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The aging eye naturally changes with time and reacts differently to a lot of different visual situations. However, there are some issues that can arise that cause great need for concern. One of the age-related issues experienced more often in adults over the age of 60 is macular degeneration. The greatest concern is this disease can lead to blindness. Therefore, diagnosis can be a frightening experience that is bound to come along with a lot of questions and concerns. Here are a few of the most common that you may find helpful to know the answers to if you are diagnosed.
Does diagnosis mean that you will eventually go completely blind?
Age-related macular degeneration on its own is not enough to cause you to go completely blind. However, without early diagnosis and immediate treatment by an optometrist, the symptoms can progress quickly and your eyesight will be greatly inhibited. The treatments that are in place, such as supplemental therapy or laser treatment, are designed to slow the progression of this disease enough to prevent you from losing sight altogether.
Why would macular degeneration be more prevalent now than ever?
Professionals believe that there are a host of factors that make macular degeneration more of an issue now than what it has been in the past. The most obvious reason is that the average life expectancy has changed, allowing people to live longer. However, there is speculation that macular degeneration could be related to greater exposure to UV light and pollutants in the environment and poor health practices on a wider scale.
What are some of the most obvious symptoms associated with age-related macular degeneration?
The first noticeable symptom of age-related macular degeneration is usually a small blurred point in center focused vision. The change can be so slight that many patients do not notice a difference until the problem starts to get bigger. The blurriness in central vision is caused by the presence of drusen, which can be found during an eye exam. While the presence of this protein is normal in the aging eye, large amounts is a direct indicator of macular degeneration.
Receiving an age-related macular degeneration diagnosis can be a scary thing. However, with early diagnosis and a proper plan for treatment, your vision can be preserved for as long as possible. Be sure to talk to your optician about any signs and symptoms you may have.Share
13 January 2015