What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an untreatable eye ailment causing distress to more than 10 million Americans and is the major cause of blindness in individuals who are over 55 years old. In the US, 200,000 new cases of macular degeneration are detected annually. In reality, macular degeneration has an effect on a greater number of Americans than glaucoma and cataracts taken together.

There are two fundamental kinds of the ailment: Standard Macular Degeneration (MD) and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The foremost reason of macular degeneration is old age and hence macular degeneration pertaining to the age is the most widespread form of the condition. However macular degeneration which is not linked to age is most frequently caused by ailment or a heredity disease or condition.

Age-related Macular Degeneration:

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (also known as AMD) is, factually, the degeneration or weakening of the macula, which happens to be the mid portion of the retina.
  • The images that we perceive are recorded in the retina and transmitted to the brain by means of the optic nerve while our central vision is focused on the macula.
  • With the deterioration of this vital area, people suffering from AMD slowly lose the efficiency to read, drive, and distinguish fine details of objects they are watching.

Causes of Macular Degeneration

  • The causes of macular degeneration are not distinct.
  • It may merely pertain to the process of aging.
  • This probability is a cause for great concern with the frequency of AMD likely to increase in individuals in their mature years.

Types of ADMacular Degeneration

There are three types of ADMacular degeneration. They are “Dry” AMD, “Wet” AMD and Stargardt’s disease

“Dry” AMD

Dry AMD is triggered by the accrual of “drusen” under the macula. Clusters of non-cellular matter that are linked to the base membrane of the retina are called drusen. As the drusen accumulates under the macula, it has an inclination to wither and the cells inside it begin to die. The macula turns out to be thin and fails to function.

Wet AMD

In the “wet” sort of AMD, blood vessels develop beneath the macula. If these irregular blood vessels give away blood or fluid, the macula will become elevated and blurry. Patients may observe shadowy patches in their center of vision, and straight lines may appear undulating. The damage to vision caused by the impact of “wet” AMD can be serious and frequently develops in a swift manner. Some amount of success has been achieved in checking the development of “wet” AMD. Though the success has been attained by the utilization of Laser treatment and Photodynamic Therapy, the ailment still can only be slowed, not completely cured.

Stargardt’s Disease

There is another type of macular degeneration that affects children between the ages of 6 and 20 and is referred to as Stargardt’s disease. This is a hereditary ailment that is not very common in contrast to the usual age-related macular degeneration. This form of macular degeneration affects roughly 1 child in every 10,000. At present there is no effective treatment for Stargardt’s disease.