Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in America. It results from changes to the macula, a portion of the retina that is responsible for clear, sharp vision, and is located at the back of the eye.
Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form, for which there is no known treatment. The less common wet form may respond to laser procedures, if diagnosed and treated early.
Some common symptoms are a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, a gradual loss of color vision and a dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision.
If you experience any of these, contact your doctor of optometry immediately for a comprehensive examination.
Central vision that is lost to macular degeneration cannot be restored. However, low vision devices such as telescopic and microscopic lenses can be prescribed to make the most out of remaining vision.
Recent research indicates certain vitamins and minerals may help prevent or slow the progression of macular degeneration. Ask your doctor of optometry about these. After age 60, an annual, comprehensive eye examination is important to maintain eye health.