Sunday, November 13, 2011

Macular Degeneration - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments by Kathryn Dawson

There are a number of eye conditions that can occur that can negatively affect the quality of a person's life. It doesn't have to go as far as blindness or even partial blindness for a person to desire or need some form of vision correction. Ongoing glasses wearing or even blurred vision can be a nuisance and lead to everyday problems. The advancements in technology have been great in the area of eye care and so from relatively minor ailments to serious eye diseases and conditions such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, treatment is available. Here is a guide to some common eye problems, symptoms that occur and the treatment available.

Macular Degeneration

This is a very common cause of loss of eyesight. The full name, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused when the retina starts to fail leading to blurriness and poor vision. As with many eye conditions it slowly continues to worsen if left untreated, and may eventually result in blindness. Most cases occur when the cells in the macula that are light sensitive begin to break down. This is known as dry AMD. Wet AMD on the other hand is a rarer condition caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye which start to leak. This leaking causes the retina to begin moving away from the eye wall causing swelling and gradual blindness. Sufferers of wet AMD begin seeing straight lines as wavy or distorted and at this point, it is imperative that a visit to a doctor at the nearest eye hospital is made.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes begins to affect the blood vessels in the retina over time and anyone suffering from diabetes should be made aware of this and undergo regular eye check ups. When the blood vessels are affected, circulation is affected primarily and then the vessel walls becoming weaker. If leakage from the blood vessels occurs continuously then vision can become seriously hampered, often permanently. In the most serious cases of bleeding can cause scarring behind the retina which pulls it away from the eye wall causing full and permanent blindness.

Although both these conditions are very serious indeed, there is vision correction treatment available for both. Laser eye surgery has developed over the years and is now so effective that even the very worst vision can in most cases be at least partly restored. It is absolutely vital that regular eye check ups be carried out as the earlier a condition is diagnosed, the less likely any serious symptoms and problems will develop. Laser eye treatment is a painless and simple procedure with extremely high success rates. Patients enjoy a very short recovery period with vision usually returning just 24 hours to a couple of days after the surgery. To aid a speedy recovery, patients are required to rest their eyes following surgery which means doing nothing that puts strain on the eyes. It is becoming increasingly popular across the UK as this type of surgery is proving so effective at treating all types of eye problems and conditions.

Regular eye checks should be undertaken, particularly for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or are over 50. Age takes it toll on the eyes and so in order to avoid any problems down the road, visits to the eye specialist every now and again are recommended. Diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma are eye problems that can occur and for which treatment is available.

So, eye treatment is available, for example, to those simply wanting to have their vision improved, known as vision correction, so that they can get rid of their glasses. Alternatively, it can be for patients suffering from the most serious of eye diseases such as those described above.