What is it?
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States – outnumbering cataracts and glaucoma combined. When you have this disease, the part of your retina called the macula that records images and sends them to your brain via the optic nerve is deteriorating.
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Symptoms of macular degeneration include blurry vision, dark areas of vision, and color perception issues. People who suffer from macular degeneration struggle to see fine details, but peripheral vision is not affected. As the disease advances, the symptoms worsen and become more of an issue – some extremely advanced cases cause the carrier to be declared legally blind. Since this is a degenerative disease and symptoms don’t show up until it’s too late, it’s very important to visit your ophthalmologist regularly.
A cure for macular degeneration is yet to be discovered, but there are many treatment options to slow the progression as well as preventative measures to take. Some options include changing your diet, exercising more frequently, avoiding and quitting smoking, and keeping your eyes away from UV light. More advanced treatment options include medication and therapy prescribed by your doctor. While there’s no cure, early and proper diagnosis and treatment can hopefully preserve any remaining sight and slow the progression of the disease.