Macular Degeneration is the most common cause of central vision loss. However, because it does not affect side vision, it does not cause complete blindness. Although vision may deteriorate very quickly in some cases, more often the central vision gradually deteriorates over years.
Macular degeneration may be a result of the natural aging process and tends to be hereditary. People at a higher risk include Caucasians, women, those with high cholesterol or untreated high blood pressure, and people with light colored eyes. Macular degeneration prevention measures include wearing protective glasses that filter out UV and blue light, eating green, leafy vegetables, getting proper rest, exercising regularly, and refraining from smoking. There is some evidence that a modest intake of wine may help prevent macular degeneration. According to a major study sponsored by the National Eye Institute called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), the antioxidants found in some vitamin supplements may be beneficial to people diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. The most important vitamins to consider are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene and Zinc. Talk to your doctor about incorporating vitamins into your daily routine.
The daily testing exercise below may detect the development of further macular degeneration between routine exams. It is recommended that you check the grid below on a daily basis with your glasses on and in good lighting.
First, cover up your left eye with your hand. Look at the dot in the center of the grid. All of the lines should be straight with no areas missing. Next, cover your right eye and repeat. If changes occur and persist the next day, please make an appointment to be seen by one of the Fox Eye doctors. Some people will start this exercise with grid portions already missing. In this case, they need to look for further missing grid lines and be seen by a Fox Eye doctor if such changes occur and persist.