Macular degeneration

Emanuela By Emanuela, 1st Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Eyes & Vision

Useful info on macular degeneration, learn about the different types of macular degeneration and what leads to losing your eyesight.

What is macular degeration?

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that occurs after the destruction of central vision. Lesions occur in the macula, a small area located on the back of the eyeball. The macula is involved in the color and the detail of objects which are needed for central vision.
Central vision is needed in carrying out activities like reading, driving vehicles and recognition of individuals. Since macular degeneration affects no peripheral vision, blindness is not complete. The risk of developing macular degeneration increases at advanced age, starting with 50.
There are two forms of macular degeneration. Both forms affect only one eye, but if one eye is affected by it, the other one will most likely be affected too.

Dry macular degeneration (nonexudative) is the most common form (90% of cases). It occurs gradually and it doesn't often cause severe loss of vision. In this form, cells and blood vessels within the macula will be destroyed and will produce hypertrophic deposits (drusen) in the back of the eye. This causes damage to the macula and affects the ability to send messages to the brain. Central vision is gradually becoming weaker or increasingly blurred.

Wet macular degeneration (exudative) is less common, only 10% of cases. It can cause permanent damage to the macula during several months or even weeks. Exudative form occurs in cases where there is already the nonexudative form. It will cause the neoformation of blood vessels (abnormal) that are fragile. These vessels bleed and cause the destruction of the macula. They will also change the normal position of the macula, located in the back of the eye,thus destroying central vision.

What are the risk factors?

The most important risk factor for the occurrence of macular degeneration is one that can not be controlled: age.25% of people over 65 have macular degeneration.
People with macular degeneration in one eye run the risk of developing the disease in the other eye as well. One study estimated that almost half of people who have submaculare neoformation vessels in one eye, will have the same problem in the other eye.

Other risk factors for the occurrence of macular degeneration:
- Family history of this disease: there is a greater risk of developing the disease if a close family member shows the same disease.
- Race: white people have a higher risk than black or hispanic people.
- Presence of deposits at the back of the eyeball: eyeballs showing more and softer deposita were at greater risk of developing abnormal blood vessels and thus neoformation of developing exudative macular degeneration
- Presence of an eye with macular degeneration: almost half of people with this condition in one eye will develop the same disease in the other eye in 5 years.
- Smoking: smokers are three times more likely to develop the disease than nonsmokers, and the risk increases even more for those who smoke heavily or who have been smoking for a long time.
- A high-fat diet.
- Cataract surgery: it is more likely to occur to elderly people with macular degeneration who were recently operated for cataract.
- A diet low in carotenoids, antioxidant, vitamins and zinc.


Degeneration, Disease, Eye, Eyesight, Macula, Macular, Vision

Meet the author

author avatar Emanuela
I am a 25-year old young lady who loves reading and writing,one of my passions being period novels( Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte) and fantasy books. Music and movies are next on my list.

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author avatar Songbird B
2nd Dec 2011 (#)

Another really informative article, my friend.. keep up the good work. Am hoping that more followers will find your pages... Nice work..

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author avatar Emanuela
2nd Dec 2011 (#)

Awww thank you so much for reading my stuff, it really means a lot to me, Songbird. You are so nice!

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