Good vision is essential to our quality of life.
We need it for nearly everything we do. When vision deteriorates, this could be a major source of anxiety.
Understanding the how’s and why’s of a particular condition are therefore important. One of the main causes of poor vision in people over 65 is , ‘Age-related macular degeneration’. To understand how this condition can affect your vision, it is important to understand how the eye works.
Light rays penetrate the eye through the cornea, pupil and lens. These light rays are projected onto the retina, a light-sensitive tissue at the back of our eye.
The retina consists of two parts: the peripheral part, and the central part. The central part houses the most sensitive area of the retina, called the “yellow spot” or “macula”. The peripheral part of the retina is much larger than the central part. The yellow spot or macula is responsible for central sharp detail vision, which we need to drive a car, to recognise people, and to read.
Macular degeneration is a common problem in patients from a certain age onwards. Although the real cause is still unknown, we learn more and more about it each day. We know for example that this condition occurs frequently within families, and less frequent in African patients. Some studies also show that smoking and high blood pressure may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
Researchers are also studying the benefits of nutritional supplements as part of the treatment and also use it to test new medical, surgical and laser treatments.
In general you could say that there is little we can do to cure this condition. But with early diagnosis, we may retain central vision. Therefore it is of utmost importance to go to your ophthalmologist for a routine check up on a regular basis.
A good understanding of the disorder is essential, an accurate monitoring of your sight with the Amslerchart also. Despite macular degeneration your quality of life can often still be preserved.
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration:
In this text we discussed the most common forms of age-related maculopathy. There are several factors that may be applicable for each individual patient. Understanding what is happening to your vision can help you adapt to this new situation.
If you have any additional queries about this condition, do not hesitate to ask any questions during the consultation.