Macular degeneration is an eye disease that affects the macula and it is known to destroy the central vision system. It develops when part of the retina is dented causing progressive vision loss. This type of eye disease is known to be the leading cause of total blindness in Australia. It is classified into two major categories, and they are dry and wet Macular degeneration. This eye disorder occurs due to various factors such as aging, prolonged exposure to ultra violet rays, smoking, obesity, myopia, sleep apnea and certain medications such as drugs for osteoporosis.
Macular degeneration is categorised into two forms i.e. the dry and wet forms. The dry type is also known as the atrophic form, it occurs after the macula cells breakdown. During eye examination the condition is identified when yellow white spots known as dursens are seen around the retina. This condition is the most common and if it advances there will be changes in the nerves and sensory parts of the retina. The wet type is also referred to as exudative or neuro-vascular form.
Development of this condition leads to leaking of the blood vessels which scars the retina hence damaging the eyes central vision. This eye problem is more rapid than the dry type therefore vision loss may occur more rapidly.
Patients with Macular degeneration present themselves with the following symptoms. Blurred vision, objects appearing to be small, viewing straight lines as irregular lines, decreased central vision and blind spots. In order to avoid total blindness patients are advised to consult eye doctors for regular check-ups and if the above symptoms arise he or she should seek medical treatment. Macular degeneration can be treated via use of antioxidants that prevent unstable oxygen that damages the retina. Laser treatment reduces vision loss during the early stages of the condition. Photodynamic therapy; that involves the use of the drug verteporfin; the drug is administered intravenously to close the leaking blood vessels.