There is no cure, but laser treatment may be used to slow the progression of the disease. Magnifying devices such as glasses and hand or stand magnifiers, bright illuminations for reading, and large print books and newspapers are available as a low vision aid options. The only means of detecting macular degeneration is with regular eye examinations. If you are experiencing difficulty with central or color vision, contact us and obtain a complete eye explanation.
Macular degeneration is most commonly a natural result of the aging process. With time, the retinal tissues break down and become thin, and cause a loss of function of the macula. The most notable symptom is blurry or distorted central vision. Difficulty in reading, doing close work, or driving may also be noticed. A person with macular degeneration may experience blurry words on a page, distortion of the center of the scene, a dark or empty area in the center of vision, the distortion of lines, or a dimming of color vision.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of impaired reading or detailed vision. It is caused by the breakdown of the macula. The macula is a very small area of the retina, which is responsible for central vision and color vision. It allows us to read, drive and perform detailed work. Surrounding the macula is the peripheral retina, which is responsible for side vision and night vision. Although macular degeneration causes distortion of central and color vision, side vision is not affected.
Some eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts are common in elderly people. Other eye diseases can be caused by infection or may have an autoimmune basis. See your physician for diagnosis and treatment. Macular Degeneration ##Macular##
Conjunctivitis, which can be due to viral or bacterial infection, can cause pain that feels like grit in the eye. Uveitis is characterized by dull, aching pain. It may be an autoimmune condition. Glaucoma causes the pressure of the fluid in the eye to rise and is characterized by severe pain and may cause nausea or vomiting. Corneal ulcer due to a foreign object in the eye can produce severe redness and pain. Macular degeneration of the retina causes fuzzy vision, although peripheral vision is not affected. It is a disease of the elderly. Cataracts cause a loss of transparency of the lens of the eye and is also a disease of the elderly.
Glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the United States, is an eye disease that can lead to a permanent loss of vision. This disease has been labeled the “Sneak Thief of Sight” because in its most typical form, there are no symptoms. No pain, no swelling, no redness. Patients with glaucoma may not notice symptoms until vision has been permanently lost.
Simply, glaucoma is elevated intraocular pressure of the eye. Every eye has fluid, called aqueous humor, which is constantly being produce as well as constantly being drained. In a glaucomatous eye, this fluid does not drain properly resulting in an increase in the pressure inside the eye. This increased pressure destroys vision gradually, usually starting with the peripheral (side) vision, and if left untreated, will lead to eventual blindness by destroying the optic nerve. With early diagnosis and treatment, useful vision may be preserved. There are four types of glaucoma:
- Chronic. This is the most common type of glaucoma, and occurs slowly over time. There is no pain, redness or swelling or other symptoms.
- Acute. This happens suddenly and is very painful. Victims of an acute glaucoma attack may complain of serious headache and vomiting. Medical intervention is needed immediately to bring the pressure under control to prevent further vision loss.
- Congenital. Present at birth, congenital glaucoma is a rather rare condition.
- Secondary. Occurring as a result of systemic disease such as diabetes, from medications such as steroid, or from an eye injury.
The following factors increase your risk of developing glaucoma:
- Age (at least 45 years old without regular eye examinations)
- Family history of glaucoma
- African American or Asian descent
Your doctor will check for the presence of glaucoma during a routine eye examination. The test is essentially pain-free, and takes only seconds.