Many older people develop macular degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. There are different kinds of macular problems, but the most common is age-related macular degeneration.
One symptom of macular degeneration is dark areas in your central vision.
With macular degeneration, you may have symptoms such as blurriness, dark areas or distortion in your central vision, and perhaps permanent loss of your central vision. It usually does not affect your side, or peripheral vision. For example, with advanced macular degeneration, you could see the outline of a clock, yet may not be able to see the hands of the clock to tell what time it is.
Causes of macular degeneration include the formation of deposits called drusen under the retina, and in some cases, the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina. With or without treatment, macular degeneration alone almost never causes total blindness. People with more advanced cases of macular degeneration continue to have useful vision using their side, or peripheral vision. In many cases, macular degeneration's impact on your vision can be minimal.
When macular degeneration does lead to loss of vision, it usually begins in just one eye, though it may affect the other eye later.
Many people are not aware that they have macular degeneration until they have a noticeable vision problem or until it is detected during an eye examination.Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the world.
To use the Amsler grid:
- Wear your reading glasses and hold this grid 12 to 15 inches away from your face in good light
- Cover one eye
- Look directly at the center dot with the uncovered eye
- While looking directly at the center dot, note whether all lines of the grid are straight or if any areas are distorted, blurred or dark
- Repeat this procedure with the other eye
If any area of the grid looks wavy, blurred or dark, note if it is the left or right eye, circle areas that are distorted or missing lines, and contact our office immediately.