Knowing macular degeneration causes is important for you to prevent or slow down progression. Macular degeneration (MD) is one of the top reasons for vision loss, affecting over 10 million people in the U.S. That’s more than glaucoma and cataracts combined. There are a number of macular degeneration causes and currently an incurable eye disease.

Macular Degeneration Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention

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Macular Degeneration Causes

Research shows macular degeneration causes could be due to environmental and heredity factors. The disease also develops as your eye ages. This means the older an individual gets, the higher the likelihood of MD to develop.

Causes of Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

As you age, the macula light-sensitive cells begin breaking down. Waste products may also start building up in your retina and form drusen (small deposits). Drusen increase in size as the disease progresses.

With the progression of AMD, your macular will have fewer light-sensitive cells. As a result, you will experience deterioration of your central vision.

You may experience wet or dry macular degeneration symptoms such as:

  • Decreased central vision in one or both eyes
  • Visual distortions like straight lines appearing bent
  • Decreased brightness or intensity of colors
  • The need to have a brighter light when doing close work or reading
  • Difficulty remembering faces
  • Increased printed word blurriness
  • More trouble adapting to low light levels like walking in a dim lit restaurant

Dry AMD typically affects both your eyes. If it affects only one eye, your good eye will compensate for the affected eye. The disease doesn’t affect your peripheral vision. It hardly ever leads to total blindness.

Causes of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Causes of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration | Most Common Macular Degeneration Causes
With wet AMD, you begin growing small new blood vessels underneath the macula. When blood vessels develop in the wrong area, it causes harm. They may leak fluid and blood into your eye, leading to damage and scarring to your macula.

The scarring and damage can lead to other more serious symptoms such as:

  • Reduced central vision in both eyes or just one
  • Distortions in vision like straight lines appearing bent
  • Haziness in your vision
  • A well-defined blind or blurry spot in your vision field
  • Decreased brightness or intensity of colors
  • Sudden onset and quick worsening of symptoms

AMD rarely causes blindness and doesn’t affect the peripheral vision.

Macular Degeneration Diagnosis

Your physician will review your family and medical history to help them make a diagnosis. They’ll also give you a complete eye exam and possibly perform other tests.

They’ll look at the back of your eye and then test your center vision for defects. If there are defects, they may refer you to a low vision rehabilitation specialist. This person will then work with you to help you adapt to your new vision change.

Because there’s no cure, the best thing you can do is try to prevent MD in the first place. Macular degeneration may occur less in individuals who don’t smoke. On the other hand, people who exercise and eat nutritious food are less likely to develop it.

Macular Degeneration Prevention

There are things you can do to reduce symptoms. Knowing macular degeneration causes is already the first step. Here is a list of what you can do to reduce or slow down the progression of this eye disease.

  • Eat plenty of leafy, dark green vegetables like raw spinach.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Take fish oil supplements or eat fish.
  • Take a balanced multimineral/multivitamin supplement.
  • Eat nuts and fruits daily.
  • Exercise routinely.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Wear sunglasses outside.
  • Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control.
  • Have regular eye exams.


See what diet you can follow to prevent age-related macular degeneration:
Most Common Macular Degeneration Causes
Now that you know macular degeneration causes, are you likely to experience difficulty in your vision? If so, there are vision devices available to use. These can help with specific visual tasks and mobility. Be sure to visit your eye care professional if you are experiencing macular degeneration symptoms trouble with your eyes or vision.

If you have been diagnosed with or have a family history of macular degeneration, share your experiences in the comments section below.

Up Next: Is Homeopathic Approach To Macular Degeneration Treatment Possible?

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