Identifying Early Signs of Macular Degeneration

by Ophthalmology Associates / 18 May 2017 / No Comments

Although there are a number of meaningful warning signs for macular degeneration, the average person often fails to know what they are. It’s understandable, given the fact our vision can tell many different stories. Sometimes we simply need to update our prescription, while other times, our eyes are undergoing more serious changes without our knowledge.

But here at Ophthalmology Associates of Western New York, we prefer to err on the side of caution by arming our clients with valuable information that can potentially help them in the long run. So, if you have any doubt about the quality of your vision, it’s worth knowing what to look out for in terms of macular degeneration.

Possible Symptoms

Do you ever have visual distortions or reduced central vision in one or both eyes? Have you noticed an increase in blurriness of printed words, or any recent difficulty recognizing faces? If so, you could possibly be experiencing what’s known as “dry macular degeneration,” an age-related impairment that usually intensifies over the years. The alternative macular degeneration is a “wet” type, which happens when blood vessels grow under the retina and leak, although the “dry” kind is most common and less severe.

Other notable symptoms of dry macular degeneration include:

  • Desire for bright light when reading
  • Difficulty adapting to lower light levels
  • Decreased intensity or brightness of colors

Risk Factors

There are many factors that can influence the development of macular degeneration, and it’s important to keep all of them in mind if you’re trying to determine your general risk. For starters, macular degeneration is most common in individuals over the age of 65. People who smoke cigarettes or are regularly exposed to smoke are also more prone to the disease. Unfortunately, genetics also play a part, as does a history of cardiovascular disease.

When to See A Doctor

Ultimately, if you’re experiencing any changes in your central vision—or your ability to see color and details—you should consider seeing a professional. If left untreated, macular degeneration can result in rapid vision loss, so it’s important to catch the disease as early as possible.