Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is a common cause of age-related deterioration of eyesight.

Overview

Macular degeneration is a common cause of age-related deterioration of eyesight. Changes to the macula (centre of the retina that gives you clear vision) mean that lines can become distorted or letters blurred. Effective therapy is only available for wet macular degeneration, where medication can prevent further progression.

Symptoms

  • Increasingly blurred vision
    • Reading is difficult, in particular
  • Blind spot exactly where you're trying to focus
  • Straight lines appear irregular and crooked

The loss of vision is small at first and only affects a few letters. The symptoms grow more serious over time.

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Dry macular degeneration: > 80%
    • With advancing age, waste products build up in the retina
    • These cause the death of retinal cells
  • Wet macular degeneration: < 20%
    • Here too, waste products build up in the retina with advancing age
    • To improve supply to the retina, the body forms new blood vessels
    • These blood vessels cause more fluid to ooze under the retina
Risk factors
  • Genetic factors, family predisposition
  • Advancing age
  • Smoking

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Testing of eyesight and range of vision
  • Imaging of the fundus of the eye
  • Eye examination using a special dye (fluorescein angiography)
Possible therapies
  • Wet macular degeneration
    • Special medication (injected into the eye, prevents the formation of new blood vessels)
    • Laser therapy, photodynamic therapy (only in selected cases)
  • Dry macular degeneration
    • No effective therapy is available at present

What can I do myself?

  • Stop smoking
  • Wear sunglasses, in particular on the beach and in the mountains

Get a personal Preventive Care Recommendation now.

When to see a doctor?

  • Deteriorating vision
  • Straight lines look crooked and distorted

Synonyms

AMD, age-related macular degeneration, macular degeneration, senile macular degeneration, dry macular degeneration, wet macular degeneration

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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