Macular degeneration is the number-one cause of blindness in the United States. It occurs when the macula - a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our vision is clear and sharp - degrades or “degenerates,” causing a progressive loss of vision.
The “dry” form of macular degeneration has no treatment, but the “wet” form may be helped by medical, surgical and laser procedures if it is detected early. Because of this, and because vision lost to the disease is irrecoverable, regular eye exams are highly recommended. Certain vitamins and minerals may also aid in slowing or preventing vision loss.
Symptoms often associated with macular degeneration include:
- A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- A gradual loss of color vision
- Distorted vision
- A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision