Macular Degeneration Symptoms

February 9, 2021 — by Thomas Byrd, MD
Tags: Macular Degeneration Symptoms

black spot in the central field of visionMacular degeneration is a common eye disorder, particularly among older individuals. This progressive eye disease is the result of deterioration of the macula, or the center of the retina. Macular degeneration primarily affects the central vision, or the area that is seen when a person looks straight ahead.

In its early stages, macular degeneration may not result in any noticeable symptoms. As symptoms develop, it is important that individuals recognize what may be causing them. Here, eye doctor Thomas Byrd goes over common macular degeneration symptoms that should alert his Detroit, MI, Dearborn Heights, MI, and Lincoln, MI, patients it is time to schedule an eye exam. 

Blurred Vision

As with many other eye diseases, blurred vision is often one of the first symptoms of macular degeneration. Even though macular degeneration specifically affects the central vision, initial changes in vision are likely to be experienced as a general blurriness, or difficulty focusing on images clearly.

Difficulty Adapting to Low Lights

As macular degeneration progresses, the macula will deteriorate even further. As part of the retina, the macula helps focus light that enters the eyes and send signals to the brain so that images can be focused. Deterioration weakens the macula and makes it difficult for the eyes to adapt to low lights. As a result, people with macular degeneration will probably find themselves needing brighter lights.

Trouble Making Out Details

The central vision is what is used to make out features and fine details. As macular degeneration progresses, people are likely to find that details seem fuzzy or unclear. Many even find that they have difficulty recognizing faces, because the distinguishable features that make people recognizable may not be clear to those with macular degeneration.

Distortion of Lines in the Field of Vision

If the central field of vision is compromised, many images can appear distorted. It is especially likely for any lines within the field of vision to appear crooked or distorted. For instance, if someone with macular degeneration is looking out to the horizon, it may look crooked or bent, instead of straight.

Gradual Loss of Central Vision

A loss of the central vision is the most obvious symptom of macular degeneration. However, this disease can be pretty advanced before the central vision is completely gone. In the early stages of macular degeneration it is more likely that the central vision will be blurry, or that dark or white spots will form in the center field of sight, completely blocking out part of a person’s vision. The further that macular degeneration progresses, the larger these spots are likely to get, until eventually a person will only be able to see with their peripheral vision.

Reporting Macular Degeneration Symptoms

There is no cure for macular degeneration. However, Dr. Thomas Byrd can provide treatment that will slow the progression of this eye disease so that his patients can preserve their vision. Early diagnosis and treatment offers patients the best chance of preventing a total loss of the central vision, which is why it is especially important for individuals to report any potential symptoms of macular degeneration and schedule an eye exam as soon as possible.

Contact Byrd & Wyandotte Eye Clinic

Dr. Thomas Byrd offers a comprehensive range of eye care services that allows his patients to maintain the health and function of their eyes. If you are interested in learning how our world-class care can meet your unique needs, contact Byrd & Wyandotte Eye Clinic online, or call (313) 383-1300.

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