Macular Degeneration

Friday, September 18, 2015

Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness, particularly in the elderly. Dr. Edward Hill talks about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60. It occurs from damage to the central portion of the retina, known as the macula. Although macular degeneration almost never causes complete blindness, it can cause significant vision loss.

There are two main types of age-related macular degeneration. The dry form is characterized by the presence of yellow deposits, called drusen, in the macula. In general, drusen do not cause changes in vision. As they grow in size and number, drusen may lead to a dimming or distortion of vision.

The wet form of macular degeneration is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels from the choroid underneath the macula. These blood vessels leak blood and fluid into the retina, causing distortion of vision that makes straight lines look wavy. Blind spots and loss of central vision can also occur.

Early detection of macular degeneration is very important because there are treatments that can delay or reduce the severity of the disease.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.