Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration, is an eye disease that leads to blurred central vision. It occurs due to damages resulting from age. The macular is a part of the retina. Age-related macular degeneration is a prevalent condition in San Antonio and one of the leading causes of vision loss among older adults worldwide. While it does not cause total loss of vision, the loss of central vision can make it harder to see faces and complete usual tasks such as driving and cooking. Macular degeneration occurs at a different pace in different patients. If you have macular degeneration in its early stages, you may not experience any symptoms until it gets to the later stages. For this reason, you need regularly visit a specialist in macular degeneration in San Antonio for early diagnosis and treatment.
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What Are the Types of Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration comes in two different types: wet and dry. Most people suffering from macular degeneration have dry macular degeneration, also known as atrophic age-related macular degeneration. It results from the gradual thinning of the macula as you age, and it happens in three stages; early, intermediate, and late. You cannot treat late dry macular degeneration, but you can find ways to make the most of your remaining vision. If it affects one eye, you can adapt some measures to protect the other eye.
Wet age-related macular degeneration, also known as neovascular macular degeneration, is less common but results in a much faster vision loss. Dry macular degeneration can turn into wet macular degeneration at any stage, although wet AMD is always late. It results from the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye causing macular damage. However, wet AMD is treatable.
The symptoms of AMD vary depending on the stage. Just like any progressive disease, the symptoms of AMD will get worse with time. Often, early AMD does not come with any symptoms. If you have intermediate dry AMD, you may not show any signs at all. However, when you experience symptoms, they may include mild blurring of your central vision and difficulty seeing in low light.
If you develop late AMD, regardless of the type, you may notice straight lines becoming wavy or appearing crooked. You may also notice blurriness in the center of your vision. Colors may also appear brighter than usual. It also becomes more challenging for you to see in low lighting.
In most cases, straight lines appearing wavy is a warning sign for late AMD, so schedule an appointment with an AMD specialist immediately.
The risk for developing AMD increases as you grow older. You are more likely to develop the condition if you are 55 or older. You are also at risk for AMD if you have a family history of AMD, are Caucasian, or smoke. If you are at risk due to your family history or age, ask your doctor about the frequency at which you need eye tests.