Coping with Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina, which senses light and translates it into electrical signals. These signals are then transmitted to the brain, where they are interpreted as images. When macular degeneration occurs, this most sensitive area of the retina begins to deteriorate and loses its function, eventually causing complete loss of the central part of your field of vision.


When the macular degeneration begins, you may not experience symptoms right away. As it progresses, you may notice the following in your central field of vision:

  • Blurred or decreased vision
  • Blind spots
  • Distortion (straight lines look bent, color looks different)

Because macular degeneration can occur in one or both eyes, these symptoms might be less severe or absent on one side compared to the other.

Living With Vision Changes

Vision loss can feel frightening, but there are steps you can take to limit the impact of this condition on your daily routines and activities.

  • Rely on your hearing: books on tape, screen-reading software, sounds in your environment, auditory traffic signals, etc.
  • Use your sense of touch: use a cane to help you feel potential obstacles and dangers while walking, learn the textures of clothing items to make organization and dressing easier
  • Use low vision aids: magnifiers, talking appliances, closed-circuit TVs
  • Enhance peripheral vision: find the area in your field of peripheral vision that’s strongest, and practice favoring that area

There are different forms of macular degeneration.Doctors can sometimes take steps to slow the advancement of this condition, but symptoms are usually not evident until degeneration has progressed. This makes early detection critical for the best possible outcome. For more information on an eye doctor in Chula Vista, visit this website.


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