Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular Degeneration is a medical condition predominantly found in elderly adults in which the center of the inner lining of the eye, known as the macula area of the retina, suffers thinning, atrophy, and in some cases bleeding. This can result in loss of central vision, which entails inability to see fine details, to read, or to recognize faces. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it is the leading cause of central vision loss (blindness) in the United States today for those over the age of fifty years. Although some macular dystrophies that affect younger individuals are sometimes referred to as macular degeneration, the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration.

What are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

Dim or distorted vision, especially while reading. Gradual, painless loss of precise central vision. Blank spots in your central field of vision; straight lines that appear wavy.

What are the Causes of Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is scarring of the macula, a spot about 1/16 inch in diameter at the centre of the retina. The macula enables you to read, watch television, drive, sew… anything that requires focused, straight-ahead vision. Although the rest of the retina can continue to process images at the sides of your field of vision, the scarring distorts or obscures part of the central image that your eye transmits to your brain. In the dry form of ARMD, tiny yellow deposits develop beneath the macula, signalling a degeneration and thinning of nerve tissue. A small number of cases develop into the wet, or neovascular, form of ARMD, in which abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the macula. As these vessels leak blood and fluid onto the retina, retinal cells die, causing blurs and blank spots in your field of vision. You are more susceptible to ARMD as you get older, especially if there is a history of the disorder in your family. atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and nutritional deficiencies are also risk factors. Your ophthalmologist will inspect the macula as part of a routine eye exam. A painless photographic procedure, fluorescein angiography, shows the pattern of your eye’s blood vessels and can detect any abnormalities.

Traditional Medical Treatments for Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is not reversible, so people who develop dry ARMD typically compensate with large-print publications and magnifying lenses for everyday activities. Wet ARMD may be successfully treated with laser surgery. Both forms respond positively to ophthalmology treatment as well as to alternative remedies. The more common dry macular degeneration cannot be cured, but it can be kept from getting worse under an ophthalmologist’s care. For the wet form, a surgical procedure called laser photocoagulation destroys leaking blood vessels that have grown under the macula, halting the damaging effects to your vision. This procedure must be done before leakage from abnormal blood vessels causes irreversible damage.

Complementaty/Alternative Treatments for Macular Degeneration

Drawing on the body’s natural abilities and functions, alternative treatments attempt to restore nutrient deficiencies that can damage the macula. Herbal Therapies – Collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body, plays an integral role in maintaining the strength and function of your eye tissue. The collagen structure of your retina may be strengthened and reinforced by taking bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract daily. Collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body, plays an integral role in maintaining the strength and function of your eye tissue. The collagen structure of your retina may be strengthened and reinforced by taking bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract daily. Dried ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) may guard against damage to your macula by free radicals, unstable molecules found in the body that can harm cells.