Macular Degeneration — risk factors

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration 0

Symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration

Symptoms of degrading vision often build slowly and go unnoticed for a long period of  time until they reach a degree of severity that may no longer be ignored. One may notice that he or she now needs glasses to read the text of a favorite book or magazine. Headaches grow more frequent - the result of constantly strained eye muscles. Once bright and vibrant colors may even take on more dull and muted hues.

While many conditions may result in impaired vision, wet macular degeneration is one of the most common culprits. According to, when one is afflicted with this form of macular degeneration the membrane beneath the retina thickens and eventually breaks, disrupting the supply of critical oxygen to the macula. In response to this assault, the body forms new, abnormal blood vessels which grow up from beneath the retina toward the macula. These new blood vessels are quite delicate and are prone to leaking, which leads to scarring of the macula. This causes damage to both the retina and macula and often results in a rapid degradation of vision that, once lost, cannot be restored.

As is often the case with illness, catching wet macular degeneration early is key so one may take action to minimize its negative effects. While the condition is fairly serious, there exist several treatment options that can be highly effective if applied early. Following are a few telltale signs of wet macular degeneration.

  • Slightly blurred vision
  • Visual distortions in which straight lines may appear curved or crooked
  • Blind spots that most often appear in the middle of the visual field and that grow larger if left untreated
  • Hallucinations that involve seeing objects, animals, or people that aren’t actually present

Along with watching for symptoms, it is also important to know the risk factors for wet macular degeneration. Taking steps to reduce these risk factors is a critical step to take along the path of risk reduction. Additional risk factors for developing this condition include:

AMD Macular Degeneration   AMD Macular Degeneration

Knowledge is power. With an increased awareness of both symptoms and risk factors, one can detect and guard against the development of wet macular degeneration before it has a chance to threaten his or her vision. Additionally, eliminating the additional risk factors for this condition will not only help to protect one’s vision, it will also contribute to an overall greater level of health and vitality.

One Love,

Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Jenna Zigler


Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age 0

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

 What Is Macular Degeneration?

 Macular Degeneration is a result of deterioration in the central portion of the retina. The back layer of the retina sends signals to the optic nerve, which transmits those images to the brain. The macula is located in the center part of the retina and allows the eye to focus on details. This part of the eye allows you to read, recognize facial expressions, drive, and see colors.

 The aging process

 Age-related macular degeneration or (AMD) is the most common form of macular degeneration. This disease is more common in those who are fifty-five and older. The risk of macular degeneration increases as you age.  Some other risk factors can be family history of the disease, smoking, and race, as caucasians are more likely to develop AMD than African-Americans or those of hispanic descent. If you have light irides or are female you may be at a higher risk than males or those with darker irides. Women are more prone to AMD, especially since they tend to live longer than men.

 Is Age Macular Degeneration curable?

 Macular degeneration at this time is not curable. But even though the disease is not curable there are several things that you can do to help prevent and delay its progression.

 Risk factors which increase your chances of developing AMD

The use of UV protected sunglasses is important not only for AMD prevention, but for your eye health in general. Reduce your exposure to blue light. Blue light is the light that comes off computers, cell phones, and television screens.

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age           Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

Smoking — quit, or better yet, just don’t start. Smoking can increase your likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration by 50%. Exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Get in at least three 30 minute sessions a week for your eye health as well as your overall well being.

Macular Degeneration and the Effect of Age

 Find out resources available

 What can be expected with age-related macular degeneration?  First, you should understand that not everyone who has this disease will develop late stage AMD. Talk to your eye specialist. They can advise you about resources available to you and may be able to  advise you where to locate those resources. Also, if you are eligible, Medicare may cover many of the visual aids and tests you require.

Talk to your doctor

Your eye specialist can advise you as what to expect and ways to treat the disease. Follow the doctor’s instructions. Make sure you keep and schedule regular eye appointments.  Lastly, allow yourself to grieve. Loss or possible loss of your vision is scary, but remember that there is help available. Do you have any other tips for coping with age-related macular degeneration? Comment below!


One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler


Other Macular Degeneration articles by Dr. Zigler: Managing Macular Degeneration: Diet and LifestyleHow Fast Does Macular Degeneration Progress?Will I Go Blind From Macular Degeneration?

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