What causes Macular Degeneration of the Eye

What causes macular degeneration of the eye? Age as well as a family history of the disease is the top causes that doctors have identified.

Macular degeneration affects the retina within your eye. It attacks and deteriorates receptors and nerves that communicate with the optic nerve at the back of your eye. The macula is the part of the eye that we use to see color and also to read books.

The disease affects the vision directly before you or what most people refer to as the near sight. Besides age and a family history of the disease, doctors have identified some other causes of macular degeneration of the eye that you should be aware of as well.

What causes macular degeneration of the eye other than age or family health history? Doctors’ state that this disease has been found in all races but they find it more commonly in Caucasian patients.

However, they also state that many people do not even know that they have macular degeneration until symptoms start to appear.

People with fair skin or lightly pigmented skin are susceptible to macular degeneration as well as people who have light colored irises.

Doctors are still researching macular degeneration but state that it occurs more in women then men.

People that suffer from sleep apnea, smoke or that are obese according to studies, also may suffer from macular degeneration. People that are over exposed to the sun or that have a career in which they work outside 90% of the time are also at risk.

There are 2 forms of macular degeneration. The first is atrophic, which causes little white dots to appear within the eye. This form of macular degeneration develops slowly and typically does not become a problem until you’re over 50 years old.

The 2nd form of macular degeneration is called neovascular. Instead of white dots, abnormal blood vessels start growing within the eye that leak blood. This causes extreme damage to your retina. Left untreated, this form of macular degeneration can cause blindness very quickly.

Doctors’ state that both forms of macular degeneration can be diagnosed before problems occur. Signs of macular degeneration can be detected as early as 30 years old. They also state that macular degeneration even occurs in people who have perfect vision, so it would be wise to have an eye exam even if you do not wear glasses.

Symptoms include blind spots, blurred vision, color perception problems–red may look pink–or things may appear bigger or smaller than their normal size.

Now that you know what causes macular degeneration of the eye, if you have any of these symptoms make an appointment with an eye doctor and have them check your eyes for macular degeneration.

Doctors say that people with these symptoms often dismiss them which allows a case of undetected macular degeneration to do more damage to the retina.