Macular Degeneration is a disease that is often hereditary and can be sight threatening. As macular degeneration progresses, vision often begins with some distortion or waviness. In the later stages, dark spots are common and can drastically reduce vision.
The earlier macular degeneration is detected, the better. Although there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, steps can be taken to try and slow its progression. Treatment often begins with vitamins that have been proven to boost the function of the cells affected by this disease. The earliest detection possible is by testing the function of the cells in the macula. This is called Dark Adaptation Testing and is done by seeing how fast the eye recuperates after a bright light. Normal cells can regenerate in under 6.5 minutes. Abnormal cells will take longer. At these earliest signs, macular degeneration should be monitored closely as well as beginning carotenoid supplements. At home monitoring can be done with an Amsler Grid like that shown below, but is only sensitive to significant changes in the vision. Click on the Amsler Grid below for a printable version you can use at home.
The best ways to support your eyes before you have macular degeneration is to eat green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale and to have an annual eye exam to monitor for changes.