Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that occurs when the small but important area in the retina called the macula gets damaged. The macula has a number of crucial functions, including processing sharp, clear, straight-ahead vision and most of the color vision. Damage to the macula can cause blurry vision, blind spots, visual distortions, and difficulty seeing finer details, to name a few symptoms.
Wet macular degeneration is one of the two forms of macular degeneration, and it causes rapid and progressive loss of central vision. Read on to learn more about wet macular degeneration, particularly its causes and risk factors.
Wet Macular Degeneration: Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause of wet macular degeneration is not fully understood, but experts suggest it almost always begins as the dry type, and can develop due to any of the following:
- Fluid or blood leakage into the macula– An abnormal growth of new blood vessels in the choroid— which is the thin layer of tissue that separates the white outer layer of the eye (sclera) from the retina— can cause fluid or blood to leak into the macula, thereby interfering with the function of the retina. The term “wet” essentially refers to such mechanism.
- Fluid buildup in the back of the eye– Fluid leaking from the choroid can accumulate in between the retina and the monolayer of highly pigmented cells known as retinal pigment epithelium. The fluid accumulation causes a bump to form in the macula, leading to visual distortion or vision loss.
There are a number of factors that can predispose you to developing wet macular degeneration. These include the following:
- Advancing age- You are over the age of 50.
- Certain medical conditions (e.g., obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc.)
- Dietary and lifestyle factors- Smoking and increased consumption of chocolates, baked goods, sausages, fatty cuts of meat, butter, and lard can put you at greater risk for wet macular degeneration.
- Heredity- Wet AMD tends to run in families.
Comprehensive Eye Exam in Washington, MO
At the Advanced Sight Center, our team of eye experts provides comprehensive eye exams, through which we can identify early signs of macular degeneration and devise a care plan to help you slow its progression. As proponents of preventive care, we also delight in teaching you effective strategies for keeping your eyes healthy, so you can enjoy a lifetime of excellent vision.
To see one of our eye experts for a consultation or an eye exam, call our friendly staff at (636) 239-1650. You may also use this appointment request form, and we will promptly contact you to arrange your visit.