Macular Eye Disease
The Macular is an area at the back of the eye, and is part of the Retina. It is a reddish area, which surrounds the Fovea, the most light sensitive part of the Retina. This area is responsible for the most accurate and precise part of vision, particularly the central part of vision.
The structure is most light sensitive and consists of numerous cones, approx. 4,000, each linked to the optic nerve and each requiring a good blood supply. Various conditions, which affect the weakness of blood vessels such as Diabetes and Hypertension, can lead to irreversible damage to the tiny blood vessels, which supply these cones and this area in general.
This results in degeneration of the area. Visual acuity is lost and will affect central vision leaving peripheral vision unchanged. Glasses cannot correct this, as it is not a problem with focusing but with light interpretation. As this is a disease process, which can sometimes run in families, or can be caused by other diseases already mentioned, it is more important to aim at prevention rather than cure.
Regular eye checks for diabetics and hypertensives should be carried out at least annually. Any diseased blood vessels or clots can be treated with laser treatment. Smoking is also a prime cause of blood vessel damage and should be stopped.
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