Age Related Macular Degeneration
As the name suggests, age related macular degeneration occurs with aging. This disease gradually but surely destroys the central vision in a person. Central vision is important for us to see things clearly and we use central vision for doing tasks like reading and driving.
Age related macular degeneration affects the macula in the eye, a part that helps us see the fine details. This disease does not cause any pain and it usually progresses rather slowly that people are not able to notice any change in their vision. However, in other cases, it can progress very fast and can lead to vision loss in both eyes.
In the US, age related macular degeneration is the main cause of vision loss in people 60 years and above.
Age related macular degeneration is of two types. One is the wet type and the other is the dry type. In wet age related macular degeneration, blood vessels behind the retina start growing under the macula. These blood vessels are weak and often break leading to blood and fluid leakage and this causes the macula to shift from its normal position. In wet age related macular degeneration, central vision deteriorates very quickly and one of the first symptoms is seeing straight lines as wavy.
In dry age related macular degeneration, the light sensitive cells in the macula get destroyed slowly and this damages the central vision. The damage is gradual and as the condition gets worse, you will see a blurred spot in the center of your vision. The most common symptoms of dry age related macular degeneration is blurry vision and usually affects both eyes but the vision is not lost in both eyes simultaneously.
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