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About the Anatomy of the human Eye
Eye Disorders & Diseases
About Eye Anatomy and Disorders
 
Macular Degeneration
 

Macular degeneration is the name given to certain conditions affecting the retina which causes loss of central vision.

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of eyesight loss in people over the age of 50. The central part of the retina that gives us fine detailed vision, the macular, starts breaking down, causing distorted vision and blurriness.

If left untreated, macular degeneration can lead to a gradual loss of sight. The condition often involves one eye at a time before visual problems are noticed. Reading and close-up work may become extremely difficult if both eyes are affected.

Dry age-related macular degeneration, which accounts for around 90% of all cases, occurs when light sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually causing vision in the affected eye to become blurred.


Treatment

There is no cure for the dry form of macular degeneration, however, the laser has been used to retard the spread of the less common wet form, if it is applied in the very early stages of the condition. A much rarer condition, wet macular degeneration, is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels which can then begin to leak. This causes the retina to lift away from the eye wall, resulting in swelling and impaired vision.