Macular Degeneration Defined
Macular degeneration is an eye disease that affects millions of people in America and millions more worldwide. This disease affects more people than cataracts and glaucoma combined. In short, the disease is a deterioration of the central portion of the retina. The retina records the images that we see, sending them back to the brain via the optic nerve. The central portion of the retina is called the macular. An individual suffering from this disease maintains peripheral vision and gradually loses sight in the middle of the area of focus.
Most people affected are over 60 years of age., However, there is another form of macular degeneration that affects younger people. It is caused by a recessive gene and it is called Stargardt disease. At the outset, the disease must be diagnosed by a physician and sufferers may not know they have Macular Degeneration. Some people will progress to losing much of their central vision. Getting regular eye exams and screenings is key in being on top of your eye health and catching the deterioration early.
Because there is no known cure it is essential to protect your eyes and your eyesight as much as possible in order to preserve the health of your eyes and your sight. As a result, wearing goggles and sunglasses are a great course of action.
Some Questions Regarding Eyewear Choices And Macular Degeneration
Should you wear sunglasses if you have macular degeneration?
- The answer, a resounding “yes“! It is a well known fact that exposure to bright sunlight is damaging to the retina. This is a no brainer even for people who enjoy great eyesight. It is always a smart idea to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright light, not to mention UV rays and all the other harmful effects that go along with a deteriorating ozone layer and the resultant sun over-exposure.
Can glasses help with macular degeneration?
- Optical science has been working on Age Related Macular Degeneration or AMD for decades. There are different glasses that help with the different stages of AMD. Individuals who suffer with early to moderate AMD can benefit from wearing yellow or orange tinted glasses. These glasses help with the white spots on the retina that may occur. Difficulty in seeing contrast and difficulty when first entering a dark room is lessened with these types of eyewear. People who have advanced macular degeneration can still benefit from the yellow tinted eyewear however, they may decide to have high magnifying prisms built into their glasses for near vision assistance. Small, mounted telescopes can also be built onto the lenses to assist with distance sight.
What kind of sunglasses are best for macular degeneration?
- Wearing sunglasses with the most protective coverage area is going to protect your retina from damaging sunrays. Also, as mentioned above yellow and orange tinted eyewear can provide advantages with contrast sight. Sport Sunglasses provide a large coverage area and are comfortable to use. Generally these sport sunglasses wrap around your head so you won't lose them if you are engaging in physical activity. They come in various shades including the optimal yellow and orange.
Do sunglasses protect against macular degeneration?
- Unfortunately sunglasses or eyewear in general cannot protect against macular degeneration. However, many people enjoy a slower progression of the disease with proper medical intervention and smarter eyewear choices. Getting a diagnosis as early as possible is going to afford a greater degree of eyesight health. The sooner you are able to take advantage of the interventions that are in place as well as be on the lookout for new technology and innovation - the better off you will be.
Taking care of your eyes throughout life is an invaluable investment. Our eyesight is so very precious and it is comforting to know that even if we are suffering with a condition there are measures that we can take to enjoy our quality of life and sight at every juncture.