How Does Macular Degeneration Impact Vision? | Shepherd Eye Center

How Does Macular Degeneration Impact Vision?

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with macular degeneration, the first question you have for your eye doctor may be: “How will macular degeneration impact my vision?” 


Macular degeneration can lead to progressive vision loss, so it is very important to learn about this condition and see your eye doctor regularly. Keep reading to learn how macular degeneration can impact your vision!


What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye condition that is caused by damage to the macula, which is the small structure in the retina that is responsible for clear central vision. Macular degeneration usually develops slowly, taking years to affect vision, but can eventually lead to the partial or total loss of central vision.


Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness among older American adults. While it is most often a hereditary condition, anyone can develop the condition as they age.


The two most common types of macular degeneration are dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration is caused by thinning and dying off of cells within the macular. 


Wet macular degeneration is the result of abnormal blood vessel growth under the macula. Wet macular degeneration accounts for fewer cases than the dry version.


However, wet macular degeneration can cause much more significant vision loss.


How Macular Degeneration Impacts Your Vision

Because macular degeneration develops slowly, the eye condition can impact your vision in different ways at different stages of progression. 


These are the most common symptoms of macular degeneration that impact your vision in its early stages:


Blurry or Fuzzy Vision

As macular degeneration begins, you may start experiencing blurred or fuzzy central vision. Words on a page can appear distorted, or colors may seem dimmed. 


These vision changes may come and go at first.


Difficulty Seeing Details

Seeing fine details becomes challenging with early macular degeneration. You may struggle to recognize people’s faces or perform tasks like sewing. 


Reading small text and doing precision work gets more challenging.


Visual Distortions

Perceiving straight lines as curving or wavy is one of the ways that macular degeneration causes visual distortions. Experiencing visual distortions can be disorientating and make everyday tasks, like driving, dangerous to yourself and others.


Blank or Dark Spots in the Central Field of Vision

Having a blank or dark spot in your central field of vision is the most prominent sign that you have late-stage macular degeneration. While some people with macular degeneration retain their peripheral vision, for other people, the spot impairing their central vision can grow big enough to cause total blindness.


After a macular degeneration diagnosis, it is important to educate yourself on how the condition might impact your vision. When you know what to expect, you can take preventative steps and seek treatment options that can limit irreversible vision loss caused by macular degeneration.


If you are experiencing the signs of macular degeneration, the best way to protect the quality of your vision is by scheduling a consultation with one of Shepherd Eye Center’s knowledgeable eye care providers.


Are you experiencing changes to your vision? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today!

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