Eye Care

Types of Macular Drusen

Drusens are small yellowish macular lesions or specks in the eye that cause age-related macular degeneration. There are two types of drusen, viz., hard and soft. Age related macular degeneration results due to progressive damage to the macula, and macula is the central part of the retina that analyzes fine details.

Types of Macular Degeneration:

The main problem associated with macular degeneration is loss of central vision. Central vision is responsible for our reading, driving and face recognition.

Macular degeneration is primarily classified into two types:

  1. Dry (atrophic) macular degeneration
  2. Wet (neovascular) macular degeneration

Accumulation of Macular Drusen:

There is a layer of tissue under the retina called the Bruch’s membrane. Macular drusens are known to develop and build up in the Bruch’s membrane. Drusens are deposits (either yellow or white) constituting calcium and fatty acids.

Drusens can also be a result of cellular debris, like minerals. As we age, the formation of drusen in the eyes is a common phenomenon. But, accumulation of the drusen causes a drusen eye leading to macular degeneration.

Types of Macular Drusen

: Drusen is typically classified into two types:

Hard Drusen:

Not considered to be very harmful and generally does not lead to macular degeneration. Let us look at a few characteristics of hard drusens.

  • Hard drusens are yellow in colour with rigidly formed borders.
  • Usually very small in size and look round in shape and quite distinct.
  • Known to develop in people aged over forty.
  • Considered to grow with age and are very common.
  • May develop into soft drusens.

Soft Drusen:

The most prevalent cause of macular degeneration. Only very few people with soft drusens do not tend to develop macular degeneration. Let us now look at the characteristics of hard drusen.

  • Pale yellow in colour, soft drusens do not possess a rigid border.
  • Compared to hard drusens, soft drusens are large in size and would vary in size and shape owing to the non-rigid borders.
  • Known to develop in people aged over fifty five.
  • If more than 63 micrometers in size, macular degeneration would occur.

It is important to recognize the type of drusens that accumulate in the eye. Age-related macular degeneration is one of the primary causes of vision loss in most Americans and can be rectified if treated in advance.

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