Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a refractive error, which means that the eye does not bend or refract light properly to a single focus to see images clearly. In myopia, close objects look clear but distant objects appear blurred. Myopia is a common condition that affects an estimated 25 percent of Americans. It is an eye focusing disorder, not an eye disease.
Myopic Macular Degeneration
Myopic macular degeneration is not the same as myopia. People that are myopic have a higher risk of vision loss from glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration. Ophthalmologists can treat glaucoma and retinal detachments but it is very difficult to treat myopic macular degeneration. Prevention is the best method.
Age-related macular degeneration will usually strike in your early 50’s, unlike myopic macular degeneration which can strike at any age, sometimes as young as 30. As with “dry” macular degeneration, there is no known treatment for the “dry” form of myopic macular degeneration. The doctors advise a diet rich in high dose nutritional vitamins, green leafy vegetables and fruits, fatty fish as this may help to support the structure and function of the central retina, known as the macula.
Symptoms are similar to macular degeneration
Blurred Vision: Those that are asymptomatic may notice a gradual loss of central vision. Those that have exudative macular degeneration (blood in the macular) notice a rapid loss of vision.
Central scotomas: (shadows or missing areas of vision), distorted vision- straight lines look wavy and parts of a grid may appear blank. Patients usually notice this while looking at mini blinds at their home.
Trouble with colors: distinguishing dark ones form dark ones and light ones from light ones as they appear the same.
Bright lights: After coming in from outside you will notice that it takes longer for your eyes to adjust and regain visual function. The same holds true for coming from a dimly lit room to brightly lit room.
Vision Loss or blindness in macular degeneration refers to the loss of central vision only. The peripheral vision (side vision) is left intact. You will still be able to see light and peripheral retina allows for useful vision.
The Amsler grid is a simple test and is used to check the health of the macular. It is a pattern of intersecting lines with a black dot in the middle of the page. The black dot in the middle of the grid is used for fixation. If you are not having a problem with your vision all lines around the dot will appear straight and spaced evenly. If you are having problems with your vision you may notice that the lines appear wavy, bent, distorted or portions of the grid will look like it is missing.
If you notice a problem with your central vision this can have a profound effect on your visual function. It will be harder to read, drive and watch television.
Treatments and Research
There are no treatments at this time for this condition.
They are working on research for this disease using stem cells and gene therapy. They are still in the investable stages of this research.
read more: http://www.macularhope.org
Sources: NIH National Health Institute- http://www.nih.gov/ and Visivite- http://www.visivite.com