Macular degeneration is a condition that primarily affects people
age 60 and over. This condition is caused by the deterioration of
the macular, which is responsible for making your central vision
sharp. Patients who develop this condition may have difficulty
seeing things directly in front of them, reading fine print, and
driving. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by
genetic and environmental factors so it is important to inform
your ophthalmologist about your family medical history.
There are two forms of Macular Degeneration - dry and wet.
Patients with this form of AMD may develop yellow deposits, called drusen, in their macula. These can be viewed with optical coherence tomography done in-clinic. As the drusen get bigger, they can cause your vision to be distorted. As the condition progresses, the light-sensitive cells in your macula deteriorate.
This form is less common than the dry form - accounting for 10% of people with macular degeneration. However, the dry form can lead to the wet form. This form of AMD is caused by blood vessels that grow from underneath your macula that leak fluid and blood into your retina. These pockets of fluid can be viewed by optical coherence tomography done in-clinic. The bleeding causes the vision to be distorted, causing the patient to see wavy lines. Blind spots in the central vision are common with this condition. The bleeding of the blood vessels eventually forms a scar, which may lead to permanent loss of central vision.