Macular Degeneration is an incurable eye disease that causes vision loss in the center of the visual field. It is the leading cause of visual impairment in America.
It results from deterioration of the macula, a portion of the retina that is responsible for clear, sharp vision. Macular Degeneration can make it difficult to read or to recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.
Macular Degeneration occurs in two forms, Dry and Wet. The Dry form is the most common. In this form, yellow spots called drusen form in the macula. These toxic drusen damage the retina and slowly cause deterioration of vision. There is no treatment for the Dry form. The Wet form is less common and more severe. In this form new, weak blood vessels may invade the retina and begin bleeding, causing sudden vision loss.
Wet Macular Degeneration may respond to laser procedures or injections. Central vision that is lost cannot be restored. However, low vision devices such as telescopic or microscopic lenses can be prescribed to make the most out of the remaining vision.
Recent research indicates that certain vitamins and mineral supplements may help to prevent or slow the progression of Macular Degeneration.