Vision loss can be caused by many dozens of things, from injuries to illnesses to genetic conditions. One of the leading causes of vision loss in American is Macular Degeneration, which is a disease that affects the vision when the retina deteriorates.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration is caused when deposits form under the retina, and/or when abnormal blood cells grow under the retina. This causes the retina to deteriorate, which leads to blurry vision, dark spots in the field of vision, or a total loss of vision. Some patients may retain their peripheral vision, while others may develop tunnel vision instead.
One of the most common causes of Macular Degeneration is age. Age-related Macular Degeneration, which is known as AMD, can occur in people over 60, particularly if they are life-long smokers, or have a family history of the disease. Caucasian people have a higher risk of developing AMD than people of other races.
This disease can also be found in younger people, if they carry a recessive gene that causes Stargardt disease, but this is very rare. Other than certain lifestyle choices and age, the exact reasons why these growths and deposits appear are unknown. Your ophthalmologist in Canton can help you understand in more depth how these growths affect the retina.
Stages and Risk of AMD
Most people do not even realize they have AMD until they get to later stages. The first stage often does not include any noticeable symptoms at all, but can be detected by your eye doctor in Canton through a standard eye exam.
Later stages will present vision loss, at which point people usually rush to their ophthalmologist if they have not already. There is no treatment or cure for Macular Degeneration yet, but there are some things that can be done to reduce your risk factors.
Staying healthy through a good diet, exercise, and avoiding habits like smoking have been shown to reduce the risk of developing AMD. Additionally, protecting the eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses outdoors may help.
Learn More About Macular Degeneration
To learn more about how macular degeneration is diagnosed, and how to live with this disease in Canton, OH, you can contact us at our office on Mercy Drive Northwest by calling (330) 489-1441, or through our website here. Any of our staff at Fladen Eye Center can assist you in finding the right information, or in making an appointment to meet with us in person.