If you’re around the age of 55 or older and don’t wear contacts or glasses, you should still see your eye doctor for an annual exam. But do you know why? Many people who don’t have nearsightedness or farsightedness might be less likely to go to the eye doctor regularly. They may figure, “What’s the point?” When you don’t need your prescription updated, it’s easy to think that way. But seeing your eye doctor regularly is a great way to keep track of your eye health, and catch eye issues early. Macular Degeneration is one of those issues that can be identified by your eye doctor early. Keep reading to learn more about this serious eye disease.
What is it?
Macular Degeneration affects the retina of the eye, which records and transfers images to the brain. The center of the retina is called the macula, and the macula is what is affected in Macular Degeneration. The cells in the macula start to deteriorate (or degenerate), which causes vision issues in patients.
How can I identify Macular Degeneration?
Macular Degeneration often reveals itself as wavy or blurred vision in patients. Sometimes that’s as bad as it gets, but not always. Sometimes the disease can continue growing and central vision may be completely affected. In extreme cases, Macular Degeneration sufferers can be declared legally blind.
Macular Degeneration can creep up on you, and the earliest signs can be identified only by your eye doctor. This is why it is so important to have regular check ups with your doctor to check for the health of your eyes.
What causes Macular Degeneration?
Certain risk factors are linked to higher instances of Macular Degeneration. Smoking, increased age (patients past age 55), and family history all may increase your risk of Macular Degeneration.
Can I treat Macular Degeneration?
Unfortunately, Macular Degeneration is currently considered an incurable disease. Identifying it early and working with your eye doctor may slow its progress.