Eyes are far more than the windows to the soul. We need our eyes for most basic activities in life. If you’ve grown up with sight, you can’t get around without your eyes. Basic travel becomes impossible — until you’ve mastered doing it without sight, which can take quite a long time. For that matter, you won’t be able to cook as you did before without your sight; what if you need to handle something sharp? But putting the practical things aside, we enjoy things through our sight. We watch television shows and movies; we look at amazing artwork; we look at the people we love. Though failing or lost eyesight is not the end of the world, it does affect people deeply on a physical and emotional level. For this reason, we need to take eye disease seriously. Eye disease in insidious, often happening gradually and in a way that slips by our notice until it’s too late. Often it can be genetic, and therefore to some degree unpreventable. But there are ways we can treat eye disease, and save or improve your level of vision. As anyone with eye disease can attest, this can make a major difference in a person’s life.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Basics
One of the most well-known types of eye diseases is age-related macular degeneration, otherwise known as AMD. This progressive eye condition affects as many as 15 million Americans, and many more worldwide. It attacks the macula of the eye, where our vision is usually at its sharpest. It’s the number one cause of major vision loss or total blindness in people over 60 in the United States, and in fact it escalates with age. 15% to 24% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 are affected, as are 35% to 40% of people 74 or older. Luckily, there are ways that its effects can be prevented to a certain extent. For example, the likelihood of AMD has been shown to increase if the person smokes. The disease is suspected to be genetic — which means that if AMD runs in your family, you should keep a close watch over your eye health, and be protective of them. There are various macular degeneration treatment plans available, and they help those with different stages and types of macular degeneration.
Different Types Of Macular Degeneration: Stages And Forms
So, what are the different types of macular degeneration? It can be “wet”, or non-neovascular, or “dry”, otherwise known as neovascular. In neovaascular cases, new blood vessels grow in places they shouldn’t — such as the macula. The dry form affects about 85% to 90% of people diagnosed with AMD. The wet form is actually more dangerous, with bigger side effects. Then there are the different stages of AMD. Not all people will develop late AMD, with about 5% of people who have AMD in one eye and none in the other developing advanced AMD in later years. As for those who have early AMD in both eyes, at least 14% will develop late AMD in both eyes after 10 years. The sooner you detect AMD, the better you can prevent late AMD. Of course, there is also the issue of macular pucker. In the case of macular pucker, scar tissue develops on the macula. It thus obstructs the eye. While it’s a different condition, its effects are somewhat similar to those of macular degeneration and as such the two can occasionally be confused. While much of the treatment for AMD has to do with preventing the progression of the disease once it’s detected, macular pucker has a more straightforward treatment.
Vitrectomy Surgery: Treating Macular Pucker
Vitrectomy surgery is perhaps one of the more common ways through which people treat macular pucker. Essentially, a vitrectomy removes the vitreous humor from the eye. This relieves some pressure from it, with the end result being improved vision. While no procedure is 100% foolproof, this treatment has been shown to have success, with minimal risk to the patient and a relatively quick recovery period.