Macular degeneration is the degenerative condition of the macula. Macula is a tiny, central area of our retina of the eye. It controls visual acuity, which has a literal meaning of sharpness of vision.
How healthy or normal the macula is, this will determine one’s ability to read, drive, recognize faces, and use and watch certain devices like a computer and a television. A healthy and normal macula also helps us to see finer details of things.
Can Dry Macular Degeneration Be Treated?
Dry macular degeneration has no cure. The treatment just includes certain measures, which can slow down the progression of the disease, if detected early. Taking some vitamins supplements etc. may help slowing down the progression. However, complete cure is not yet known.
Vision rehabilitation can be done. In age related dry macular degeneration, the peripheral vision is not affected and hence it does not result in total blindness. But, the central vision can be reduced or even totally eliminated. Central vision is required for many important activities like driving a vehicle, reading, recognizing people and faces. In such cases, an occupational therapist may help in rehabilitating the low vision and therefore will help in adapting to the changes in your vision.
Another option to improve the vision may be considering an implant of a telescopic lens. The telescopic lens is like small plastic tube, which has special lenses to magnify the field of vision. This option may help in improving the distant and the near vision both. The limitation to this however, is that it has a very narrow viewing field, which might not be helpful in all situations.
Certain other measures can be taken when one has been diagnosed with dry macular degeneration, which may help in slowing down the progress of the disease.
- Smoking is a troublesome habit and is responsible for causing various diseases that are life threatening and otherwise. Dry macular degeneration is no exception. It helps a lot to improve or slow down the progress of this condition if one stops smoking altogether.
- A healthy, balanced diet can provide one with all the necessary nutrients, which contribute to the eye health. A diet rich in anti-oxidants, zinc, high protein foods, unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids etc. may be of particular benefit to the eye health.
- Taking proper medications for other health conditions and keeping them in check is recommended. Especially conditions like high blood pressure can impact the general health of eyes severely.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly is extremely important.
Supplements of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals can help in slowing the progression of diseases and reduce the risk of complete vision loss. However, this may. Not show benefits in an early-stage dry macular degeneration. Additionally, there might be other health issues if these supplements are taken in an excess. Hence, proper consultation should be sought before starting on any of these supplements.
Routine eye examinations must not be undermined, as they will be the guidelines for you and your doctor about detecting any progress in the disease at the earliest.
Macular degeneration is one of the major causes of visual loss in older people. Macular degeneration can be of dry or wet type.
Dry macular degeneration may be seen affecting one eye at the beginning and then it may progress to both eyes. In the beginning, it usually causes blurred or diminished central vision. This happens because there is a thinning of macula. Over a period of time, the vision will worsen, thereby affecting the ability to read, drive and recognize people’s faces. However, it does not go ahead to say that there will be a complete loss of vision.
Dry macular degeneration is very common in older people and is one of the most common causes of loss of vision in them. At present, dry macular degeneration has no known cure.