Macular degeneration causes a loss of central vision in both eyes. It is a painless condition that normally affects people who are older than 50 years.
It is commonly known as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). There are also rare cases of Juvenile Macular Degeneration, which affects young people. Certain genetic disorders are the cause of the development of juvenile macular degeneration.
When a person suffers from Macular Degeneration, the central vision is affected. So, there is difficulty in focusing on objects that lie straight ahead. The result is that everything appears blurred, it becomes difficult to read, the faces of people appear blurred and colors of objects around you look pale and dull.
The exact cause for macular degeneration isn’t known yet. Aging can cause a person to develop this condition. In older people, the macula, which is a central spot in the retina, develops a problem and causes age-related macular degeneration.
AMD can develop as wet AMD or dry AMD.
The macula has light-sensitive cells that gradually break down as you age. As the light-sensitive cells reduce in number, the central vision deteriorates. Waste products start to accumulate in the retina and cause small deposits called drusen. As the drusen increases in size, vision problems arise. Drusen is a characteristic feature of dry AMD.
Tiny blood vessels form underneath the macula attempt to clear the drusen from the retina. These blood vessels cause fluid and blood to leak into the macula, leading to scarring and macular damage. This can lead to serious symptoms like blind spots and distorted vision.
- Macular degeneration escapes attention, till you experience diminished vision. The primary symptom is blurred central vision.
- Faces, writing, and images get distorted in the central view.
- You lose visual acuity. You cannot see the fine details, and it becomes difficult for you to read and drive.
- Contrast sensitivity is lost. It gets tough to distinguish objects against a background
- Those suffering from dry age-related macular degeneration, experience symptoms like—hazy vision, blurred text, dull colors, difficulty in identifying faces and the need for more light while reading.
- For those with wet AMD, the deterioration in central vision worsens. Other symptoms like blind spots, visual distortions and hallucinations also manifest.
Once the symptoms manifest, it’s time to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
While the triggering cause for AMD is unknown, there are some factors that increase the risk of developing AMD. The family history of AMD and advancing age are the major factors that can increase the risk of suffering from macular degeneration. Other risk factors include—alcohol consumption, smoking, excessive exposure to sunlight, ethnicity, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
New Treatment for Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration has no cure. The progress of vision deterioration is slow in dry AMD. You can get help in the form of large print books, more lighting and by the use of a magnifying lens. Additionally, a diet rich in Vitamins A, C, and E improves eye health and slows down the rate of progress of dry AMD.
Wet AMD has two treatment options—anti-VEGF medication and laser surgery. Laser surgery destroys the abnormal blood cells, and anti-VEGF medication prevents the new blood vessel growth.
Improved medical research has led to the development of two new surgical techniques to treat wet AMD. These new treatment for Macular Degeneration are better than laser surgery. These are macular translocation and lens implantation. In macular translocation, the macula is repositioned on the eyeball which is free from the abnormal blood vessels.
During lens implantation, the natural lens is removed and replaced by an artificial lens which offers a better central vision.
Another promising therapy that is doing rounds and under clinical trials is—stem cell therapy. Stem cells have the capability to transform into any type of organ cells. These stem cells can be used to create retinal cells and can be transplanted in the eye.
While macular degeneration often is caused due to the natural aging process, some preventive measures can help to delay the onset. In case, you find any symptoms of AMD; it’s best to schedule an eye examination.
Quit smoking. Eat a balanced diet that has a lot of leafy greens. Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Look at the Amsler’s grid and check your vision every day. The Amsler’s grid is a pattern of straight lines, like in a checkerboard. Gazing at it can help you spot any changes in your vision.
Include supplements that contain zinc and antioxidants. Such supplements are proved to lower the risk of AMD. If you’re 65 years and older, check for AMD, when you visit your eye doctor for a routine eye examination.
An early identification of the symptoms can initiate timely treatment, and help to prevent deterioration in your vision.
Regular eye check-ups are a good way to diagnose any problems concerning the vision.
Ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar in your diet for weight lossRead More...
Using apple cider vinegar in your diet is an age old method to lose weight. We’ve all read about the effects of apple cider vinegar and how it increases the metabolism of the body. But did you know that in addition to keeping your weight in check, apple cider vinegar stabilizes your blood sugar levels, controls cravings, provides constipation relief by aiding digestion and improves the health of your heart. Here are some ways in which you can incorporate apple cider vinegar in your diet to loose weight and stay healthy.
Apple cider vinegar can be used with olive oil, as a dressing for salads. Tomatoes and cucumbers taste really good when it has been drizzled with apple cider vinegar. You can also treat your taste buds by pickling vegetables with apple cider vinegar. It results in a delicious tangy taste. Preferably use organic, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
The best way to consume apple cider vinegar is by mixing it in water. Consume one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with every day to get the best results. Since it works best when taken before meals, this amount should be spread through the day. If you are having signs of nausea with this intake, start off by consuming one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with a eight ounces of water. Increase your intake gradually. This will help your body to get accustomed to the addition in your diet.
The taste and smell of apple cider vinegar can put you off initially. However you can mix in other ingredients in your drink to enhance the taste. You can add a tablespoon of honey, ginger, lemon or cinnamon. Each of these ingredients provide additional benefits. For instance, honey aids in digestion and suppressing food cravings, lemons consists of pectin fibers that help in keeping the hunger pangs at bay, ginger helps in the removal of toxins from the body and cinnamon fights excessive fat storage and subsequent weight gain. Thus combining these ingredients with apple cider vinegar and water can assist you in your weight loss journey.
Here is a quick recipe for your apple cider vinegar drink
- Organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Take ½ or 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass. Buy organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar as it contains higher amount of vitamins and acetic acid.
Add the vinegar into eight ounces of water and stir until completely mixed. You can add a tablespoon of honey to eliminate the tartness of the vinegar.
Consume it before means or an hour before you go to bed.
Your concise guide to estate planningRead More...
There are several entities such as trusts, powers of attorney and wills, involved in estate planning. They aid spouses and families of estate holders to benefit from the estate of the deceased. The absence of an estate plan leads the estate to go into probate and thereafter, judged by a court. Devising an estate plan requires one to go to an estate planning attorney to ensure that the welfare of the estate goes as one planned it to be.
Benefits of an estate plan
An estate plan is not only for the affluent, but also for those who want to ensure that their families have a hassle-free time after their demise. Following are some of the compelling reasons to opt for an estate plan:
- Saves your family from all legal hassles – An efficient estate planning saves the family from getting involved in laborious legal procedures.
- Reduces estate taxes – By gifting assets, you are able to lower the complete value of your estate because once assets are gifted, they cannot be held against the estate value. Consequently, the property taxes levied on your estate will decrease.
- Prevents unnecessary expenses – An efficient estate plan made with the advice of a skilled attorney helps you save your family from spending money for unnecessary causes such as taxes and litigation.
What you need before going to an estate planning attorney?
At the start of the estate plan, one is required to visit an attorney to ensure all requirements are set in the right order to carry out one’s final wishes without any legal roadblocks. Before leaving for an estate planning attorney, some essential things need to be prepped up, which include the following:
- Enlist names and addresses of all the parties associated with your assets.
- Get all your account information, insurance information, debt list, household inventory list, retirement plans, etc. arranged at one place.
- Gather as much information as possible that you may need to give to the estate planning attorney. The more information the attorney has, the better the estate plan will be.
Some of the common questions that you may want to ask the attorney include the following:
- How much do they charge for their services?
- How often should the will be updated?
- What are the best ways to reduce the tax requirements?
- What happens if any problem is encountered during the execution of the estate plan?
- Where to find an estate attorney?
To look for a reliable estate attorney, these are the usual sources:
- Ask your family members and friends for recommendations.
- Go for financial advisors and accountants in your area.
- Use advertisements as a means of finding an Estate Planning Attorney.
- Check dedicated websites of good attorneys, which not only lists their contact information, but also highlights the perquisites of choosing them. In addition, the website may include testimonials from satisfied clients.