The Source of Blurred Vision
Your vision is the work of a combination of specialized parts that each play a specific role in the way you see the world. Every basic science class covers the importance of the cornea, pupil, and retina as they pertain to sight. When you start to notice blurriness in the center of your vision, your mind might immediately jump to these well-known components. More likely than not, however, the problem is related to macular degeneration.
The Anatomy of the Macula
The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina. The retina takes the light our eyes consume and translates it into electric signals that travel to the brain through the optic nerve. The brain, in turn, process these signals and translates them into the images we see. The macula, in particular, is responsible for the centralized part of our vision and what we see when looking at something head-on. It empowers us to drive, cook, write, and do basically anything that requires central vision. When the macula is damaged, its millions of light-sensing cells can’t properly take in light. As a result, the center of your field of vision is blurred, distorted, or dark. Imagine a photo with clear edges, but with a hole in the middle.
The culprit in degeneration is not currently known, but the most obvious sign of macular degeneration is fatty deposits called drusen. As we age, drusen naturally build up. Even people who don’t suffer from macular degeneration likely have some amount of drusen built up in the retina. However, a buildup of drusen is directly related to the degeneration of cells in the macula.
Catching Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your ophthalmologist immediately. Fortunately, drusen buildup is easy to spot and diagnose quickly. If you get an eye exam every year, as Whitson Vision strongly recommends, your ophthalmologist should be able to identify ADM quickly. Early ADM may not be noticeable for years, and many patients are able to continue a normal life. Intermediate or late AMD could result in permanent vision loss, because there is no true cure for AMD.
Researchers are still working on identifying the root causes of AMD so that they can create treatments. However, we do know a few things that help keep AMD at bay. First, make sure that you have dry AMD, which is caused by drusen. Wet AMD, which is more serious and caused by inflamed blood vessels, has more treatments available. Dry AMD can be helped by:
Catch AMD Early!
AMD absolutely does not have to stop you from living your best life. Contact the Whitson Vision offices in Indianapolis or Avon today, or book an appointment online. Your eyes will thank you.