Warning Signs of Macular Degeneration | Spirit Dental & Vision



Warning Signs of Macular Degeneration

By: Spirit Dental
October 8, 2020


man looking intently at laptop


The macula is the central part of your eye’s retina, and it allows you to have clear, sharp vision. Macular degeneration, which is also referred to as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a condition that causes you to lose your central vision. With AMD, even though you’ll still have peripheral vision, your ability to see what is in front of you will be impacted. And this can make everyday tasks like recognizing faces, reading, and driving, pretty much impossible. 

Should you take the risk of developing macular degeneration seriously? Absolutely! This condition is a top cause of vision loss, and it affects many older people. Seeing your eye doctor regularly, such as every year, is an important step in diagnosing this condition as early on as possible. But, in addition to that, getting to know the warning signs is also wise. That way, you can more readily recognize changes in your vision and get help right away.

The First Thing You Should Know: There Are Two Types of Macular Degeneration

Before we dive into the symptoms that are associated with AMD, let’s take a quick look at the two types of macular generation:

  • Dry macular degeneration is the more common type, and it might progress into wet macular degeneration. People with dry AMD might notice that their vision gets progressively worse, but this occurs gradually.

  • Wet macular degeneration is more of a threat to your sight, so people who have this form of AMD might experience more severe vision loss than those who have the dry form, and the loss might occur suddenly as well.  

Now, Let’s Cover the Symptoms and Warning Signs of AMD

Here’s the scary thing about macular degeneration: in its early stages, you might not even know that you have it if you don’t notice any symptoms. This is just one of the many reasons why it’s best to make appointments with an eye doctor on a regular basis to have your eyes, including your retina, examined by a professional who can spot the signs of AMD. 

When symptoms do occur, you will likely begin to notice that your vision isn’t as clear as it should be, and this might happen gradually or suddenly. Also, symptoms of AMD might include the following:

  • Straight lines appear wavy, bent, or distorted
  • When reading, the words appear wavy 
  • Changes in color perception, such as colors appearing paler 
  • Areas in the center part of the visual field appear shadowy, dark, empty, or gray
  • Blurry spots or blind spots in the center of your vision
  • Vision that becomes fuzzy, hazy, or blurry
  • When in low light, experiencing more difficulty seeing details 
  • Objects might appear smaller than they are

Note: Macular degeneration might occur in one eye or both eyes. And, when it occurs in both eyes, it might not affect both of them in the same way. Also, it’s important to be aware of the fact that you might not notice any symptoms if the condition develops only in one of your eyes. You can test your vision by closing one eye at a time to ensure you aren’t missing any signs while both eyes are open. 

Take Care of Your Eyes by Seeing Your Eye Doctor Regularly!

It can’t be stressed enough: seeing an eye doctor regularly is an integral component of keeping your eyes as healthy as possible as you get older. Whether or not you notice any warning signs of macular degeneration, an ophthalmologist can take a look at the interior structures of your eyes to see if there is any evidence that this condition is developing. And, in the event that you do have AMD, your doctor will be able to discuss treatment options. 

Also, let’s not forget that seeing an eye care professional will help you see clearly because you can get prescription glasses and contacts that will sharpen your vision. This could help make it easier to notice changes in your eyesight, even if they are minor at first—such an important step when it comes to watching out for signs of AMD! 

Final tip: At Spirit, you can easily enroll in vision insurance that will help make it more affordable to see your eye doctor for checkups and prescriptions. With this type of coverage, you won’t have to skip an appointment because you’re worried about how you’ll pay for it. And you can rest assured that you’ll be able to take smart steps to keep your peepers as healthy as possible.



Sources:

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amd.htm

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/macular-degeneration/age-related-macular-degeneration-symptoms

https://www.macular.org/symptoms-macular-degeneration

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wet-macular-degeneration/symptoms-causes/syc-20351107

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-macular-degeneration/symptoms-causes/syc-20350375

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw176039

 


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