Community Blog

Understanding Macular Degeneration

By Patti Soisson

As we age, our bodies start to go through changes, almost like a second round of puberty. Here at Home Helpers, we like to provide exemplary in-home care as well as educate our clients about some of the physical difficulties common to senior citizens so they’re well-informed and well-prepared. Here, we’d like to provide a brief lesson about macular degeneration.


What It Is

Simply put, macular degeneration is the breaking down of the center of the retina, which is essential for such activities as reading, watching television, driving, seeing faces and using a computer. Just like there are different types of senior care, there are different types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. Dry is considered to be the more common and early stage of degeneration. Common causes of dry macular degeneration include overall age and the breakdown of macular tissues.


Thankfully, there are ways to both treat and prevent dry macular degeneration. It’s important to eat healthy, wear shades designed to block harmful UV rays and exercise, which a caregiver can help you with. Additionally, it’s a good idea to work with an optometrist to remain up-to-date on the health of your eyes and receive more tips on taking care of your vision.


Wet macular degeneration is a more advanced form of dry degeneration. This type is more harmful to the eyes, but common in only roughly 10 percent of cases of macular degeneration. Wet degeneration can result in permanent damage to the eyes, making it vital you remain diligent about treating and preventing dry macular degeneration. Prevention is always preferable to developing a cure or seeking treatment.


The Symptoms

Thankfully, there are symptoms that indicate whether you have macular degeneration. Such indications include:


  • Poorly defined vision
  • Blurry text
  • Colors are less defined
  • Needing brighter light when you read
  • Having a hard time discerning faces


Know that it can take anywhere from five to 10 years before your day-to-day life is impacted by the advancement of macular degeneration. There’s also the fact that you can have a healthy eye and the other affected by macular degeneration, which may make you slow to notice the symptoms mentioned above.


Stay on Top of Your Ocular Health

While you might think your vision is fine now, there’s no telling when macular degeneration can start to creep up on you. In addition to scheduling regular eye exams as you age, you should also see your doctor. Doing so can give you more tips on steps you can take to keep your eyes and the rest of your body healthy and functioning.


While Home Helpers wants you to enjoy your golden years, we also want to help you maintain your optimum health. Let us know if you’re interested in learning more about in-home care or macular degeneration.