Macular Degeneration Evaluation in Adults
Macular degeneration describes the breakdown, or degeneration, of the macula. The macula can be found in the retina at the back of the eye and is responsible for allowing you to see images sharply and clearly. It adds crispness to your vision.
Blurriness, distortion and dark areas are common symptoms of macular degeneration. It can make everyday tasks, such as driving or telling time quite difficult. In severe cases, activities like reading become nearly impossible.
In most cases, macular degeneration is simply due to the aging process. It is one of the leading causes of severe vision loss among Caucasian adults over the age of 65. The onset is typically gradual although it may occur rapidly in rare cases.
Macular degeneration can be caught in its early stages during a routine eye exam. However, for those who do not visit the eye doctor regularly, it can progress undetected for quite some time, making treatment much more complicated.
Primary means of diagnosis include a simple vision test involving an Amsler grid, careful examination of the macula through an ophthalmoscope, or taking special photographs to view blood vessels under the retina.
Macular degeneration can be slowed, treated, or possibly prevented through the use of nutritional supplements, laser surgery and photodynamic therapy.