What are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

Have you noticed that you need more light to read, to look at a bill or a magazine article? Perhaps in the early morning as you are getting ready for work, you can't tell if the socks are navy blue or black?

Although these are common visual changes that occur for any one who is aging, they can also be early signs of macular degeneration.

We often associate macular degeneration with the loss of central or straight ahead vision, and although it is not blindness, there are other visual losses that occur with this retinal disease. Here are some of the signs of macular degeneration.

The Need for More Light

Perhaps it used to be easy for you to read the mail on the kitchen counter, but now find that you really need direct lighting on the bill or piece of mail to see it clearly.

Words Are Blurred

You may find that words in books or people's faces are somewhat blurred. The photoreceptor cells in the macula are responsible for our sharp, detailed vision. As these cells degenerate and die there are less of them. The loss of these cone cells lead to blurry vision.

Colors are Less Vivid

Cone cells are also responsible for our color vision. So again when there are less cone cells there is less sensitivity to color. Reds are not as red and greens are not as green. The world is less bright and colors become dull and less vivid.

There are other symptoms as well that may help you understand how someone with macular degeneration "sees" the world or may alert you to going to see your own ophthalmologist for an eye check.

To learn more go to Macular Degeneration Symptoms

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Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Better Health for Better Vision