The macula sits in the center of the eye’s retina at the back of the eye and sends nerve impulses to the brain to form a visual image. Under normal conditions, the macula takes in detailed information from the middle of the visual field. Some of the specific functions made possible by the macula in each eye include:
- Driving a car
- Discriminating contrast and colors
- Noticing fine details
- Recognizing people’s faces
When someone has macular degeneration, their brain doesn’t interpret the images they see correctly. Blurred vision and partial or complete loss of central vision are the risks of allowing the condition to progress untreated.
Although peripheral vision remains unaffected with macular degeneration, it’s less clear than central vision. People who have suffered complete loss of central vision meet the definition of legal blindness. Stam & Associates offers macular degeneration exams in Jacksonville, FL to help patients understand and manage their risk factors.
Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration
Ophthalmologists divide macular degeneration into two types; wet and dry. Only 10 to 15 percent of patients have the wet type, while 85 to 90 percent have the dry type. The term wet macular degeneration describes the effect of new blood vessels growing behind the retina. The blood vessels prevent normal positioning of the macula and initially cause blurry vision that can quickly progress to central vision loss.
Dry macular degeneration progresses slower and causes distorted and fuzzy images. Changes are often too minor for people to notice, but they can become more pronounced over time and lead to wet macular degeneration.
Regular visual screening is the best way to detect and halt the progression of this potentially devastating eye disease. Please schedule a macular degeneration exam in Jacksonville, FL to determine whether you have any symptoms and learn more about halting the progression of this condition.