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What Are the Early Warning Signs of Macular Degeneration?

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An older woman smiles as she undergoes a slit lamp exam while her optometrist inspects her eyes.

Macular degeneration is a common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in adults over the age of 50. The disease occurs when the macula, which is responsible for central vision, becomes damaged or deteriorated.

There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is more common and progresses slowly, while wet macular degeneration is less common but can cause rapid and severe vision loss. Early detection of macular degeneration is crucial in preventing permanent vision loss.

Some early warning signs of macular degeneration include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Difficulty seeing in low light
  • Decreased central vision
  • Straight lines appearing wavy or distorted
  • Loss of colour perception

Blurred or Distorted Vision

One of the first signs of macular degeneration is blurriness or distortion in your central vision. This can make it challenging to see objects clearly, read small print, or recognize faces. If you notice a sudden change in your ability to see things up close or from a distance, it may be a sign of macular degeneration.

Difficulty Seeing in Low Light

Another early warning sign of macular degeneration is having trouble seeing in low-light conditions. This can make activities such as driving at night or navigating dimly lit areas more challenging. It may also cause you to need more light when reading or performing tasks that require close-up vision.

Decreased Central Vision

One of the hallmark signs of macular degeneration is a decrease in central vision. This means you may have difficulty seeing objects directly in front of you, but your peripheral vision remains intact. As the disease progresses, this can become more severe and significantly impact daily activities such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces.

Straight Lines Appearing Wavy or Distorted

Another indication of macular degeneration is when straight lines appear wavy or distorted. This may be noticeable when looking at objects such as telephone poles, door frames, or window blinds. It can also affect your ability to read and make it challenging to follow a line of text.

Loss of Colour Perception

In some cases, macular degeneration can also lead to a decrease in colour perception. This means that colours may appear less vibrant or washed out. You may also have difficulty distinguishing between shades of colours that are similar, such as different shades of blue or green.

What to Do If You Notice These Signs

If you experience any of these early warning signs, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. They will be able to perform a comprehensive eye exam and determine if macular degeneration or another eye condition may be causing your symptoms. Early detection and treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and preserve your vision.

Factors That Increase Your Risk

While anyone can develop macular degeneration, certain factors may increase your risk. These include:

Preventing Macular Degeneration

An older woman smiles as she undergoes a slit lamp exam while her optometrist inspects her eyes.

While there is no surefire way to prevent macular degeneration, there are steps you can take to help reduce your risk. These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Not smoking
  • Protecting your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection
  • Getting regular eye exams to monitor any changes in your vision or eye health

Additionally, if you have a family history of macular degeneration, it is crucial to inform your eye doctor. They may recommend more frequent eye exams or other preventative measures.

How Does MacuMira Treat Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

For those already experiencing the early signs of macular degeneration, specifically dry AMD, MacuMira offers a promising solution. MacuMira is an innovative treatment designed to address the underlying causes of this condition and potentially improve vision. During the treatment, a headset directs an electrical microcurrent across the front of the closed eye, stimulating retinal cells to enhance visual function. 

This process helps slow down the degenerative process and improve visual acuity. Patients who have undergone MacuMira treatment have reported positive outcomes and a potential halt in the progression of their AMD.

If you have further questions or want to explore MacuMira in more detail, we encourage you to download our comprehensive MacuMira patient treatment booklet.

Prioritize Your Vision Health with Maple Ridge Eye Care

Macular degeneration is a common eye condition that can have a significant impact on your vision and quality of life. While there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, early detection and treatment can help slow its progression and preserve your vision.

At Maple Ridge Eye Care, supporting your vision health is our priority. If you have concerns like blurry vision, eye strain, or discomfort, or if you are due for a routine eye exam, please consider scheduling an appointment with us. Our staff is here to assist you with your eye care needs and answer any questions you may have.

Written by Dr. M. Hurlbert

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