What is Macular Degeneration – Can it Be Cured?

Truth be told: there is a huge variety of eye conditions that people tend to suffer from. Although many of these can be corrected early on with proper medical intervention (corrective glasses, surgery, pharmaceutical products,) some conditions are brought on by the onset of advanced age. In which case, very little corrective measures can be given. Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is one such condition. According to the stats, there is a growing number of elderly suffering from AMD yearly; about 9% of the present population is already afflicted. And there are projections that in 5 years time, that number might double.

But what is macular degeneration – can it be cured?

In order to fully understand this medical condition, we need to point out certain parts of the human eye. The macula lutea, or simply macula is a yellow spot that can found near the center of one's retina. This extremely small yellow spot is responsible for absorbing too much illumination from our surroundings and shields us from reflected light that can impair our vision. The macula is also responsible for providing clarity to the eye's central vision. As the name suggests then, macular degenerationis the gradual or progressive deterioration of that yellow spot, causing the person to suffer from blotched out central vision.

A person with this condition would very likely see (from afar) the background and the people in his or her surrounding without being able to distinguish specific details. A perpetually dark, grayish or extremely light mark seems to be blocking small sections out of the images. From up close, the blurry features of a person might be seen, but the outline of the face would be clear. Distortion, whiteout spots or broken images are also commonly noted.

Macular degeneration is a rather slow progressing condition. That means that it takes years and years for the person to notice the gradually dimming or blurring of his or her vision. Depending upon the state of the macula and overall seeing prowess, some people claim to that their vision has this gradual widening of the areas they can not make out anymore. In other cases, people claim that there is a gradual darkening or whitening of areas, resulting in a vision filled with small patches.

Macular degeneration affects the elderly the most. Almost 89% of all cases are AMDs or age-related macular degeneration. However, there are reported cases of children below the age of 10 who have the said condition. Unfortunately, this medical condition is also hereditary, brought on by genes that can also cause an assortment of diseases.

The sad thing about this is that there is still no known cure or remedy yet for macular degeneration. Prevention is also a dicey subject since genetics and diseases are two of the most primary considerations here. However, health care providers are advocating ways on how to slow down the progression of this medical condition. One would be to get an eye exam ASAP, especially if you know that your family has a history of macular degeneration. Another recommendation is to shift to a healthier lifestyle, especially for people already at the prime of their life. When it comes to diet, an antioxidant and omega-3 fatty acid diet would be beneficial.