What is macular degeneration? How does macular degeneration cause blindness? This post will explain the nature of the disease. Get to know macular degeneration symptoms, risk factors, and treatments. Continue reading and get informed about AMD.

How Does Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness? | FAQs

 

In this article:

 

1. Why and How Do People with Macular Degeneration Lose Central Vision?

Why and How Do People With Macular Degeneration Lose Central Vision? | How Does Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness?

The retina plays a major role in human vision. Here are some of its functions:
  • It records the images we see and signals the brain through the optic nerve.
  • The macula has light-sensing cells called photoreceptors. These photoreceptors convert the light from the visual field into electrical impulses.
  • The retina sends these impulses to the brain via the optic nerve. When the central region of the retina starts to deteriorate, macular degeneration occurs. Patients with macular degeneration lose their central vision. When the photoreceptors in the macula degrade, patients go blind.
The patients lose their ability to take part in activities. This includes reading, facial recognition, seeing objects in fine detail, and driving. When people suffer from severe visual impairment, they can be considered blind.

2. What Are the Types of Macular Degeneration?

Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Other physicians call AMD as atrophic, nonexudative, or drusenoid macular degeneration. Here’s what’s happens in a case of dry AMD: Tiny protein and fat-containing drusen deposits accumulate in the retina’s Bruch membrane. This is the thin layer of cells beneath the preceptors. In effect, these drusen may impede the macula’s health. This condition does not affect peripheral vision, so it rarely causes total blindness. This is a common eye disorder for people over 65.
Dry AMD sufferers may notice a decrease in intensity or brightness of colors. Some experience difficulty in recognizing faces. To know more symptoms of Dry AMD, you can read this article from The Mayo Clinic.
 
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
 
Wet AMD is also referred to as subretinal neovascularization or disciform degeneration. As a matter of fact, abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the macula in wet AMD. As a result, these blood vessels leak blood and fluid into the macula, hence, damaging photoreceptor cells. Because of this, wet AMD usually progresses fast and causes major loss of central vision.
 
Wet AMD patients may experience visual distortions and reduction in central vision. It can be in one or both eyes. If you want to know more symptoms of wet AMD, click here.

3. What Are the Stages of Age-related Macular Degeneration?

What Are The Stages of Age-related Macular Degeneration? | How Does Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness?

  • Early AMD – In the early stage of AMD, most people will not notice any sign of vision loss. Presence of medium-sized drusen beneath the retina can state AMD.
  • Intermediate AMD – In this stage, symptoms like the need for more light will arise. This is due to the increase and growth of drusen present in the retina.
  • Late AMD – Patients at this stage experience noticeable vision loss.

4. What Are the Risk Factors for Age-related Macular Degeneration?

How Does Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness?

Science is yet to figure out the exact causes of AMD. Possible risk factors include:
  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Smoking Cigarettes
  • Bright Sunlight
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension

5. Is There a Cure for Age-related Macular Degeneration?

Is There a Cure for Age-related Macular Degeneration? | How Does Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness?

Currently, there is no cure for AMD. There are existing treatments that can slow down its progression. This can improve patient’s vision. Here are some therapies:

 

For more information about macular degeneration, you can watch this video below by AmerraMedical:How Does Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness?

How does macular degeneration cause blindness? Damaged photoreceptors cause blurred central vision. This blocks the retina’s ability to send clear images to the brain.

Dr. Kondrot discusses Integrative Medicine’s Answer to Reversing Macular Degeneration here.

Did you find this article helpful? Tell us your thoughts on macular degeneration in the comments section below!

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