Macular Degeneration

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  • Topic: Macular degeneration, Retina, Eye
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  • Published : March 19, 2012
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Macular Degeneration

Often many times people take their five senses for granted. You wouldn’t realize how dependent you are of your sight until you see a vicissitude in it. Imagine waking up, and your vision would be blurry. Many people just assume that they need glasses. However if they are one of the 11 million people in the United States that has macular degeneration, glasses could not help them because macular degeneration is a disease of the eye that cannot be reversed. The central area of the retina, which is the macula, is where macular degeneration occurs (Stern and Yanni, 2011). The macula is the part of the eye that develops the sharp, clear images to the macula would result in blind spots and blurred or distorted vision (Stern and Yanni, 2011). Macular degeneration research has identified the risk factors and ways to slow progression of both the wet and dry types of this disease. There are two types of macular degeneration (Mogk, 1999). The first and most common type is the dry or atrophic type (Mogk, 1999).

The dry type of macular degeneration affects 80-90% of people who have this disease (Mogk, 1999). Like the wet type of the macular degeneration, its cause is unknown (Mogk, 1999). Dry macular degeneration is the slow breakdown of the photosensitive cells of the macula (Stern and Yanni, 2011). It progresses more slowly than the wet type (Stern and Yanni, 2011). In dry macular degeneration, drusen, which are yellowish or white deposits of extracellular accumulation that build up in the eye and form on the retina under the macula causing it to degenerate over a period of time (Bedinghaus, 2009). The drusen development may be affiliated with metabolic cycles that occur normally in the human body (Bedinghaus, 2009). There are three stages of dry macular degeneration (Stern and Yanni, 2011). The first stage is the early stage (Stern and Yanni, 2011). It is where the patient has a couple small to medium-sized drusen (Stern Yanni, 2011). At this stage, there is no actual vision loss or symptoms (Stern and Yanni, 2011). The second stage is the intermediate stage (Stern Yanni, 2011). It is where patients have medium-sized drusen or one or more large drusen (Stern and Yanni, 2011). A spot in the central vision may become blurry (Stern and Yanni, 2011). The last stage is the advanced stage (Stern and Yanni, 2011). The patient has a large number of drusen deposits (Stern and Yanni, 2011). The light sensitive cells of the retina begin to break down (Stern and Yanni, 2011). A large blurry spot appears (Stern and Yanni, 2011). All of the patient’s central vision is lost (Stern and Yanni, 2011). Currently, there is no treatment for the accelerated version of dry macular degeneration (Stern and Yanni, 2011). However, a specific method of toxin purifying, natural vitamins and zinc oxide may delay or prevent macular harm from developing to the accelerated stage (Stern and Yanni, 2011). The second type of macular degeneration is the wet or neovascular type. This, while not as common, still affects 10-15% of people with macular degeneration (Mogk, 1999).

Even though dry macular degeneration is more common than wet, the wet type of this disease causes the more severe cases of vision loss (Mogk, 1999). In wet macular degeneration, blood vessels that are abnormal are under the retina and begin to grow toward the macula (Mogk, 1999). Because the new veins are excessive, they are very likely to hemorrhage, separate, and leak fluid, which cause harm to the macula and causes it to rise up and take away from its platform (Mogk, 1999). This can cause serious harm and results in a quick and serious loss of an individual’s central vision (Mogk, 1999). The symptoms of wet macular degeneration come very quickly and harshly (Mogk, 1999). Your vision can decline to the level of legally blind category in just a couple weeks (Mogk, 1999). The most common symptom is blurred (Roberts, 2011). Also, in some...
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