The macula refers to the tiny area at the center of the retina responsible for controlling the sharpness of vision. It is through the macula that one is able to perform various visual activities such as reading a novel, watching football, typing a document among other things. Needless to say, this particular spot in the retina plays a key role in living the day to day life comfortably. Macular degeneration in Bethesda can be addressed as long as individuals are equipped with the right information.
There are two basic ways in which aging occurs. This includes wet and dry aging. The wet form can also be referred to as neovascular because it entails the formation of new blood vessels. Fortunately, the dry kind is encountered more often than neovascular aging. When wet degeneration, it is usually fatal. As the term suggests, macula degeneration happens more in the elderly population than the young. In addition, whites are more susceptible than blacks.
The dry form of eye disease can progress through a several years to the wet kind where abnormal new vessels emerge. These vessels are defective because they easily leak fluid, depriving the retina of much needed nutrients. In the long run, the retina develops spots where visual focus cannot be formed. Although not scientifically proven, age related macula degeneration (ARMD) of the dry kind can be prevented by eating healthy and exercising the body regularly. In addition, sun glasses go a long way in keeping the retina safe from harmful rays.
Individuals with ARMD usually complain of gradual visual loss. It may take some time for an individual to actually realize that they have a visual problem. Such individuals may dismiss the probable signs with excuses depending on circumstances surrounding the presentation. For instance, the they may blame on a misty weather or an allergic reaction to deodorant, dust, smoke and so forth.
It is important to consultant a specialist to rule other causes of eye disease other than ARMD as the latter is progressive and can be serious when detected late. While the progress of macular degeneration is usually considered to be slow, in rare instances, it may cause damage over a very short period of time. ARMD classically manifests of blurriness or blindness in the central area of vision.
Early detection of this eye disease is done through a simple test supervised by an expert. In this test, the patient is asked to view a set of horizontal and vertical lines that intersect to form a grid. A normal person will be able to visualize all the lines running smoothly without missing any spots. In a degenerated eye, the patient will have difficulty appreciating the central region of the grid.
The center may either hazy or completely dark depending on how advanced the process is at the time. Once impairment of central vision has been established, the doctor will go ahead to examine the blood vessels surrounding the macula region in a radiological procedure known as angiography. Typically, the vessels will be more crowded than usual. Also, areas of bleeding in abnormal blood vessels may be noted.
Other than age and race, this form of disease process is common in individuals who have a family history of the same. Obesity, hypertension and smoking are additional risk factors. It is advisable to live a healthy lifestyle to minimize the chances of being a victim.