Common Eye Conditions
Macular Degeneration- When to See an Optometrist?
Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that carries mild to severe symptoms. Also known as or Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it also comes with a probability of partial vision loss or blindness. Various authoritative researches and studies suggest the primary cause of blindness among people aged 60 and above is AMD. What is AMD? What happens during macular degeneration?
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What is Macular Degeneration?
AMD means the “degeneration”/ wearing of the macula, which is present in the centre of the retina. The retina rests at the back of your eyes. It is a light-sensitive tissue that manages to send signals to the brain to produce images that you usually see. A fact from studies shows that nearly 240,000 struggle with macular degeneration in Australia.
Two Forms of Macular Degeneration
Dry AMD: thinning of the macula and accumulation of yellow spots under it.
Wet AMD: when damage to the retina’s blood vessels occurs, resulting in leakage of fluids and blood in the eye.
Researchers have not concluded the definite causes of macular degeneration. However, they believe certain risk factors can increase the chances of diabetic people manifesting symptoms of AMD.
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Obesity and overweight
- History of AMD
- Genetic eye disorders
The early stages of AMD are not easy to detect and require proper diagnosis. In diabetes, a patient usually takes an annual eye test that detects any potential or existing eye conditions. Here are the general symptoms of AMD.
- Loss of central vision or reduction
- Blurry, fuzzy, or wavy vision
- Retinal detachment
- Pain at the back of the head (near optic nerves)
- Dark spots or floaters in the vision
When Should I See My Optometrist About Macular Degeneration?
The optimal time to seek an optometrist is when you experience the symptoms slightly or for shorter periods. Furthermore, if you have a family history of eye disorders, then consider getting annual checkups. These checkups help you spot early signs of any potential eye condition or disorder.
Moreover, if you have diabetes Type 1 or Type 2, you might already opt for an annual eye exam.
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