Retinal Disorders and Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Among the different retinal disorders,
age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the main causes of blindness.
This is because the macula is central to seeing well and in detail. The
macula is actually the center of the retina in your eyes and damage due
to aging can create waves instead of straight lines.
With an eye exam, an ophthalmologist can use a ophthalmoscope, which
is a hand tool, to see if there are any unusual changes in the characteristics
of the retina.
The usual candidates for AMD are the aging, people with fair skin, high
blood pressure, genetics, smoking, and lack of omega 3 fatty acids and
nutrients from green vegetables.
This retinal disorder has two general types: the atrophic
AMD and the neovascular AMD. It
is also called the wet for neovascular and the dry for atrophic retinal
disorder. Majority of people with this kind of retina problem have the
dry type of AMD. The twist here is the of those who get the wet type of
AMD, more often than not, they become partially or completely blind.
The difference between these two types are mainly in the fluids, or lack
of fluids found in the retina. Also, dry AMD can progress very slowly
and be painless. This is because the problem with dry AMD is that the
tissues start to thin, and the blood cells disappear. With wet AMD, the
blood cells start to grow abnormally beneath the macula, and this develops
into a scar, blocking vision.
An ophthalmologist can go further with the eye exam and conduct 2 another
tests known as the angiography, tomography, and a laser eye exam. These
are techniques that enables the doctor to take a photograph of your retina,
and will help him diagnose your condition more conclusively.
Unfortunately, with dry retinal disorders, the only treatment that can
be advised and prescribed is really just a delaying tactic. Your doctor
will probably ask you to take supplements if your condition is still in
the beginning stages. These would include vitamins A and E, zinc, fresh,
green vegetables, and fish.
Eye surgery may be possible, and in fact, there
is the optional laser eye surgery which could help tremendously in improving
your vision. For those with wet AMD, the laser eye surgery will target
the abnormal blood cells in the hopes of eliminating them completely.
Other treatments other than eye surgery would be injections into the
affected area to slow down the production of the abnormal blood cells
or to prevent leaking. Glasses and other vision aids like a magnifying
device will help people with vision problems. It is even possible to find
computer software that can help a person work on a computer even if he
has blurred vision. This is done by having the software communicate with
him about what is being displayed on the monitor.