Macular Degeneration – Wet

Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in your visual field due to damage to the macula of the eye. There are two types of macular degeneration, classified as wet and dry.

Dry macular degeneration is the most common and least severe type. Wet macular degeneration is less common but much more serious. No one knows the exact cause of wet macular degeneration, but it develops in people who have had dry macular degeneration.

Wet macular degeneration occurs when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. Vision loss occurs much more rapidly with wet macular degeneration than with dry macular degeneration.

Wet macular degeneration symptoms usually appear suddenly and worsen rapidly. They may include:

  • Visual distortions, such as straight lines seeming bent
  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • Decreased intensity or brightness of colors
  • A well-defined blurry spot or blind spot in your field of vision
  • A general haziness in your overall vision
  • Abrupt onset and rapid worsening of symptoms

Factors that may increase your risk of macular degeneration include:

Age: This disease most commonly occurs in people over 50.

Family history: There is a hereditary component to the development of this condition.

Smoking: Smoking cigarettes or being regularly exposed to smoke significantly increases your risk of macular degeneration.

Cardiovascular disease: If you have diseases that affect your heart and blood vessels, you may be at higher risk of macular degeneration.

Many people don’t realize they have macular degeneration until their vision is very blurry so it is very important to have regular retinal exams. Early detection and treatment of wet macular degeneration may help reduce vision loss and, in some instances, recover vision. A retinal exam visit in Phoenix can allow your doctor to look for early signs of macular degeneration before any vision problems occur. Contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com to schedule an appointment today.

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