The next time you go to see your eye doctor be sure to ask him this question,"Do you see any macular drusen?" He may be surprised by your knowledge, but more importantly you will find out more about the health of your retina.
For those of you, like my husband, who have a family member with macular degeneration, you want to pay close attention to what your eye doctor sees during your yearly eye exam, especially as it pertains to your retina.
Macular drusen are small, round deposits of calcium and waste products. They appear as light yellow dots during a clinical exam of the retina.
Drusen are the first clinical signs of age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the loss of central or straight ahead vision that helps us read, drive and recognize faces.
Not only is it important to know if you have drusen you also want to find out the size, the number and what kind they are.
Number of Drusen
According to James C. Folk, M.D., the author of Protect Your Sight: How to Save Your Vision in the Epidemic of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, "In general, eyes with more drusen have a worse prognosis than eyes with fewer drusen."
The more drusen you have the greater chance you have of developing wet macular degneration - the more severe kind of AMD.
Size of Drusen
The size of the drusen is an important prognostic factor for this retinal condition as well. Those with larger drusen are more apt to experience leaky blood vessels, or wet macular degeneration which causes more vision loss than dry macular degeneration.
Type of Drusen
The development of drusen is considered the first sign of AMD. Hard drusen are usually small in size with well defined borders. This type of deposit becomes more common as we age and may not affect one's vision.
Soft drusen are larger and usually have irregular borders. They indicate that the process of deterioration has started.
To see pictures of a retina sprinkled with drusen and to find out if there is any early treatment of these deposits go to:
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Leslie Degner, RN, BSN
Better Health for Better Vision