Macular degeneration occurs when the eye’s macula begins to breakdown or deteriorate. The macula is a light-sensitive tissue that takes up a small space in the retina and is the part that is responsible for our central vision. Macular degeneration mostly happens to older adults and can drastically affect how well they are able to see, causing their vision to become blurry or distorted, possibly causing permanent vision loss.
Your loved one may need help from a professional home health care provider if they start to lose their vision. This caregiver will make life much easier for an elder with this condition because they will be able to do all of the tasks the elder is unable to do. Learning as much as possible in macular degeneration is a great place to begin if you want to help care for your loved one.
Types of Macular Degeneration
Dry, or Atrophic, Macular Degeneration
This is the most common form of macular degeneration and is formed when the tissues of the macula begin to age and thin. It usually begins with tiny white or yellow pieces of fat protein known as drusen, which is formed under the retina. Over time, the macular will continue to age and thin until it no longer works.
Wet, or Exudative, Macular Degeneration
Approximately 10 percent of people with macular degeneration have this form. It develops when abnormal blood vessels start to grow under the retina. Fluid or blood may then leak, causing the central vision to become blurred or distorted. Vision loss often occurs quicker with wet macular degeneration than it does with the dry variety.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Reading and/or distance vision becomes blurry
Requires bright lights to see upclose
Colors seem less bright or vivid
Vision becomes hazy
Unable to see from bright light to low light
Difficult recognizing people’s faces
Blurry or blank spots in central vision
Wet Macular Degeneration
Vision becomes distorted
Vision contains dark grey or blank spots
Loss of central vision
Size of objects may seem different in each eye
Colors do not look the same in each eye and may lose brightness
The doctor will most likely prescribe medication to help with slow the loss of vision. Some common types of medication include:
Vitamin C and E
Just because your elderly loved one has macular degeneration does not meant hey can’t live an independent life. With a little help from a home health care provider and family members, the senior will be able to continue living his life to the fullest.