What is Macular Disease?

Macular disease affects the macula, the part of the retina at the back of the eye. Although small in size at only 5mm, the macula has a big job. It is responsible for central vision, most of the color vision, and the fine details we see. The macula contains a very high concentration of photoreceptor cells that detect light. These cells send signals to the brain along the optic nerve that interprets the images before us. The rest of the retina processes peripheral vision. 

The most common type of macular disease is age-related macular degeneration. Other types of macular disease or diseases caused by macular disease include dry age-related macular degeneration, wet age-related macular degeneration, early AMD, retinal vein occlusion, macular hole, myopic macular degeneration, Stargardt disease, bestrophinopathies, cone dystrophy, Doyne honeycomb dystrophy, Sorsby fundus dystrophy, pattern dystrophy, Bull’s eye maculopathy, pseudoxanthoma elasticum, diabetic macula oedema, central serous retinopathy, punctate inner choroidopathy, and 

Charles Bonnet syndrome. 

Macular disease, specifically age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is an eye disease that progresses over time affecting vision. In fact, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60 years of age. Macular disease occurs as the retina begins to wear down due to age. There are 2 types of age-related macular degeneration: dry and wet. With dry macular degeneration, the center of the retina deteriorates. With wet macular degeneration, blood vessels grow and leak underneath the retina. Signs and symptoms include blurred central vision that can also produce wavy lines in the field of vision and trouble seeing in low light. There is no known cure for macular disease, but the progression may be slowed with dietary supplements, injections, and laser therapy. Lowering the risk of macular disease includes physical activity, maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels, eating a balanced diet that includes leafy greens and lean protein such as fish, and if you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. 

If you have further questions about macular disease or other concerns about the health of your retina, Retina Consultants of Nevada recommends a comprehensive eye exam to ensure the health of your eyes and quality of your vision. Call our office today at 702-369-0200 or visit our website for more information.