Macular degeneration is an eye health condition characterized by the damage of the macula, part of the retina. It is a common disorder among people who are over 50. It is also considered one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States. At C-Luminous EyeCare in Charlottesville, VA, our optometrist diagnoses this condition and will provide management options to preserve your vision.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
This condition occurs when the center of the retina becomes damaged, affecting your vision. It typically develops with age. The disease affects your central vision, but most people retain their peripheral vision.
What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
In the early stage of the disease, they may be no symptoms at all. One of the first signs that most patients notice is the sudden change in the quality of vision. Over time, it may lead to a dramatic loss of the central vision.
Later symptoms of the disease include the following:
- Blurred vision: You may find that it gets difficult for you to focus on things. You may also realize that you need more light for reading.
- Dark spots in the central vision: If you start noticing dark spots in your central vision, it can also be one of the symptoms of this eye disease.
What Are the Causes?
Unfortunately, no one knows what exactly causes this disease. However, it may be caused by the combination of certain environmental and heredity factors, including obesity, smoking, and diet.
There are certain factors that can increase your risk of getting this eye disease:
- Genetics and family history: There is a hereditary component in this disease, and there are several genes that are related to this eye disorder.
- Age: The disease is more common among people over 50.
- Race: Caucasians have a higher risk of suffering from this disease.
- Smoking: It has been proven that smoking increases your risk of the disease.
- Cardiovascular diseases: If you have heart health issues that affect your cardiovascular system and blood vessels, your risk of macular degeneration is higher.
Is It Possible to Prevent It?
There is no cure for this condition, but you can reduce your risk of developing this disease.
- Stop smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Manage other medical conditions and diseases, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and others.
- Eat more fish. Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish help reduce the risk of this eye disease.
Visit Our Optometrist in Charlottesville, VA for Macular Degeneration Management
If you notice signs of macular degeneration, visit our eye doctor. At C-Luminous EyeCare in Charlottesville, VA, we will provide treatment options to slow the progression of the condition and save your vision. Call us today to schedule an appointment.