Macular Degeneration

Macular DegenerationPeople between 65-80 can develop an aging condition in their central vision called macular degeneration. There is no known cure or prevention for this at this time, but research promises breakthroughs in the not too distant future.

There are two forms, dry and wet.

The most common form is dry, in which there is a buildup of debris from dying cells and other matter in the central part of the retina called the macula. There is also loss of an important retinal layer called the retinal pigment epithelial layer. These two progressive changes can decrease and blur our central vision, so that it becomes increasingly difficult to read, watch TV and drive.

In wet macular degeneration, there is development of new blood vessels under the retina, which are fragile and bleed, causing sudden loss of central vision and a black spot in the center of our visual acuity. If the disease is caught in time, sometimes a laser can be effective in either improving the vision, or at least, slowing the progression of the visual loss. Some experts recommend a diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, parsley, kale and mustard greens and red fruits like plums and grapes. Others recommend lowering blood pressure, eating a low fat diet, exercising and maintaining a good weight. The best advice if you have this disease is to see your Tolland Eye Care Optometrist yearly and discuss your eye health.