As diabetics, we need to stay on top of our health period, but one of the most important is our eye health. The eyes contain hundreds of tiny blood vessels that effect our vision and the overall health of our eyes.
Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes vision loss in the center of your field of vision. Wet macular degeneration is generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the region of the macula (MAK-u-luh). The macula is in the center of the retina (the layer of tissue on the inside back wall of your eyeball).
Wet macular degeneration is one of two types of age-related degeneration’s. The other type — dry macular degeneration — is more common and less severe. Wet macular degeneration almost always begins as dry macular degeneration. It’s not clear what causes wet macular degeneration.
Symptoms Of Wet Macular Degeneration:
Wet macular degeneration symptoms usually appear and progress rapidly. Symptoms may include:
- Visual distortions, such as straight lines appearing wavy or crooked, a doorway or street sign looking lopsided, or objects appearing smaller or farther away than they really are
- Decreased central vision
- Decreased intensity or brightness of colors
- Well-defined blurry spot or blind spot in your field of vision
- Abrupt onset
- Rapid worsening
- Hallucinations of geometric shapes, animals or people, in cases of advanced degeneration
Treatment Of Wet Macular Degeneration:
There are several courses of treatment available for wet macular degeneration, but the goals are to slow progression of the disease. The treatments are not cures and in most instances cannot reverse the damages that have already occurred. Laser therapy is a possible treatment, where a high-powered laser is used to destroy the abnormal, leaky blood cells. This course of action is rarely implemented, as it has serious limitations. If the blood vessels are directly under the center of the macula and if the damage is extensive, this laser treatment cannot be utilized. Another treatment is photo-dynamic therapy, which is used for treating wet macular degeneration when the abnormal cells are in the center of the macula or the fovea. It is safer than laser therapy and may be able to preserve central vision. This treatment combines a cold laser with a medicine called verteporfin. The medicine is injected into the bloodstream and ends up in the macula. The cold laser causes a reaction when combined with medicine that closes the abnormal blood vessels stopping the leak.
Macular trans-location surgery is also a treatment that may be used when the abnormal cells are below the fovea. A surgeon surgically detaches the retina and moves the fovea in order to expose the abnormal cells. The surgeon then removes the cells or uses a hot laser to destroy them without risking the fovea. This treatment prevents further vision loss and in rare instances improves vision. A medicinal treatment incorporates vascular endothelial growth factor antagonists. These are drugs that may stop the growth of the abnormal cells that cause wet degeneration by inhibiting the growth factor that allows these cells to proliferate. The treatment involves injections in the eye every 4 weeks. Finally, another treatment that is used for those with advanced wet macular degeneration is implantation of an optical device. It may improve vision by literally enlarging objects like a tiny telescope.
Wet macular degeneration is caused by rupturing blood vessels that form in your eye. Improve your cardiovascular fitness level by making better lifestyle choices such as increasing your daily activity level and limiting or eliminating any smoking habits you may have. These poor lifestyle choices negate your efforts to lower risk factors for wet macular degeneration as they work to degrade your arterial health and result in more frequent or sever arterial ruptures in the eye. A healthy cardiovascular system will maintain your overall health and keep your risk factors for degeneration as low as possible. Macular Degeneration is nothing to fool around with, so consult your doctor ASAP.
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