Macular Degeneration: Types, Causes and Diagnosis
Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It basically decrease or damage the retina. This is a problem that can seriously spoil the eye’s ability to see and no successful treatment exists in the medical world yet. But it can be controlled to some extent by vitamins, laser therapy and drugs. This problem usually thrives in persons above 60 and that is why it is called age-related disease.
What is Macular Degeneration?
The macula of the eye is necessary for a sharp and concentrated eye. It appears as a small scar near the center of the retina. Macula helps to see any object that comes into the way of your eye. It is a common eye disease caused by the damage of the same macula. This may cause blindness to some people.
Types of Macular Degeneration.
Basically it is divided into two types i.e. dry and wet.
Dry Macular Degeneration.
In dry macular degeneration, a yellowish substance is assembled in the macula of the eye called drusen (yellow flakes or pit). If these flakes are low, it does not hamper the ability to see, but if the number and size increase, the person starts to appear less when reading or looking at something carefully.
If this problem increases more than usual, the cells of that part of the eye are either damaged or dead, in which the central vision of the person is greatly reduced.
Wet Macular Degeneration.
The moist state of macular degeneration is one in which the cross under the macula leads to abnormal growth of blood vessels. This condition is called corneal neovascularization. Excessive inflation causes damage to these blood vessels and triggers leakage of blood and liquid into the retina.
This causes wavy lines on the surface of the eyes. These are the things that hamper the process of seeing the rash. This also affects the person’s ability to see very badly.
Most of the cases we see the problem of dry macular degeneration. However, once there is a problem of dry macular degeneration, it can also lead to wet macular degeneration.
There are two types of macular degeneration i.e. dry and wet macular degeneration.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration.
The signs and symptoms are;
- Red eyes and pain.
- It seems as if a shadow or a black curtain is present in front of the eyes.
- Straight lines appear crooked.
- To appear blurred or distorted.
- Objects appear smaller than the normal size.
- A variation in the brightness of the eye. Like sometimes blurred looks, sometimes looking clean.
- Hallucinations (seeing things that do not exist).
- To feel difficulty to see the objects in front of you.
- Blindness or eye weakening.
The main signs and symptoms are red eyes and pain, straight lines appear to be crooked, sometimes it appear as blurred and distorted and many more.
Causes of Macular Degeneration.
It is mainly caused by damage to the retina, causing deterioration of the middle part of the retina. This can be due to the following reasons;
The risk of this problem thrives with increasing age. This problem becomes common between 60 and 65 years.
If there is already this problem in one’s house, the apprehension of it happening in the next generation increases.
The person who is smoke or who has to live in the midst of its smoke, also increases the risk of this eye disease.
Obesity is a problem in itself that increases the risk of any small and largest problem flourishing in the body. It is also growing rapidly in those who have this problem.
People who have heart related diseases are also more likely to have this eye problem.
The main cause of this disease is due to retina damage. But it can also be occur due to some other reasons like age, hereditary, obesity and smoking etc.
Macular degeneration is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist, who thoroughly examines the eyes by the following methods;
The eyes are examined using a special lens while viewing the amsler grid, which helps to detect the changes in the retina and macula. Amsler grid is a device which ophthalmologists use to check the eyes.
Dilated Eye Examination.
Eye drops can be used to spread your eyes and widen the pupil of the eye for ease of viewing the retina during examination.
Visual Acuity Test.
In this test, with the help of a chart, the letters or symbols are tested to see how clearly you are.
Some radiological techniques are also used, such as;
Injecting fluorescence (yellow dye) into the bloodstream in fluorescein angiography makes the blood veins in the eyes appear to be clear, photographed for testing.
Optical Fogging Tomography (OCT).
It is a type of imaging test that helps to scan the retina of the macular degeneration, which allows doctors to see different layers of the retina.
It is diagnosed by an ophthalmologists. They choose different methods to diagnose like amsler grid test, dilated eye examination and fluorescein angiography etc.
Dry macular degeneration can be treated with the help of minerals and vitamins, such as;
- Zinc (80 mg).
- Copper (2 mg).
- Vitamin C (500 mg) and/or vitamin C or Vitamin E (400 IU).
- Lutein (10 mg).
- Zeaxanthin (2 mg).
Wet macular degeneration can be treated with the following techniques;
- Photodynamic therapy, here doctor used to give the verteporfin drug through the veins.
- Can be treated with drugs called anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF), which help to reduce abnormal blood vessels in your retina.
- Laser Surgery.
A lot of medicines are available for this disease. All these medicines are given below. But keep in mind that you should not take any medicines without consulting the doctor. Taking medicines without a doctor’s advice can cause serious health issues.
In the event of a disease, the person may also have problems like stress and hallucinations. While the macular degeneration, which begins with dry macular degeneration, can also be converted into a moist macular degeneration. That is why it requires timely investigation and prevention.
1. What is the Macula?;
2. What Are Drusen?;
3. S. Zuhair and S. Walid; Rom J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jan-Mar; 63(1): 15–22.; Corneal neovascularization: updates on pathophysiology, investigations & management; Retrieved from
4. Amsler Chart to Test Your Sight;
5. What Is a Fluorescein Angiography?;