The dangers of macular degeneration -- it's more than just spooky! 👻
Eye problems and diseases can definitely be SPOOKY👻—but the more educated you are on the topic, the better you can see the symptoms and help correct it before you turn into an eyeless monster! (Just TRICKING you of course 😅! Okay, we'll stop with the Halloween jokes...)
One eye disease we won't joke around about is called macular degeneration. Someone with macular degeneration suffers a loss of vision in the center of the retina. Under some circumstances, it can also cause a leaky blood vessel to grow underneath the retina. (Um, gross?)
Most of the time, macular degeneration occurs in people over the age of 55, but it can also affect people who work in dangerous or high-risk environments. No matter your age or space in the workforce, it’s smart to learn about the symptoms of macular generation and how to avoid it!
What causes macular degeneration?
There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. Most forms of macular degeneration are referred to as "age-related macular degeneration", so you'll often hear the term AMD referring to all forms of macular degeneration. Let's talk about wet and dry AMD:
Dry macular degeneration (Dry AMD) is the most common AMD that people have. Dry AMD occurs when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein start to grow.
Wet macular degeneration (Wet AMD) is less common but far more serious. Wet AMD is generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the retina responsible for central vision. You can lose your vision faster with Wet AMD, and this form of AMD is more likely to occur in people with dangerous jobs or people who do not wear necessary eye coverings.
What are the symptoms?
Macular degeneration symptoms change from person to person, but the most common are these:
- Visual distortions
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
- The need for brighter light when reading or doing close-up work
- Increased difficulty adapting to low light levels
- Increased blurriness
What are the best treatments for macular degeneration?
Many people don’t realize they have AMD until their vision starts to become blurry. And in severe cases, you may need surgery or medications to fix this -- yikes! In all cases, consult with your optometrist before taking any steps. The best thing you can do to prevent macular degeneration is to schedule regular visits with your optometrist. Like all eye disorders and diseases, early detection is key to treatment.
In the meantime, specialized glasses may help maximize your vision, while sunglasses and safety glasses help protect the eyes from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays and blue light -- AKA, the spooky Halloween monsters that can increase the risk of AMD.
What types of glasses should people with AMD use?
You should know by now that We Are Not Doctors™, and you should always defer to the advice of your optometrist over the advice of your favorite sunglasses brand. That being said, here are a few glasses options that can help prevent AMD or help people with AMD preserve their vision as long as possible.
Bifocal glasses can help improve distance and near vision as the lenses are split horizontally into different sections. At Bomber Eyewear, we offer a line of bifocal safety glasses that offer this benefit alongside ANSI Z87+ safety protection -- a double whammy for protecting and preserving your vision!
Many people have trouble adjusting to dim lighting after being in bright light. They may also experience reduced contrast sensitivity, which means it is more difficult to recognize textures or contrasts. Yellow tinted glasses may help increase contrast and ease vision problems for people with early AMD.
High powered lenses
These glasses have a high level of magnification and a built-in prism which allows both eyes to work together to improve vision. Ask your optometrist for recommendations, since high powered lenses are typically only for prescription glasses!
Telescopic and magnifying glasses
Bioptic telescope glasses help to improve distance vision. On the flip side, magnifying glasses magnify objects close to the eyes, so they are only suitable for improving near vision. These are more prescription-specific lens styles to ask your eye doctor about.
Macular degeneration may make the eyes more sensitive to light, and glare from bright light may cause additional vision problems. Choosing glasses with an anti-reflective coating can help reduce glare and make things easier for people already suffering from AMD.
People with AMD -- and, y'know, people in general!! -- need to protect their eyes by looking for sunglasses that block 99–100% of UVA and UVB rays. The BUZZ Bombs block out 100% UVA and UVB! (And pro tip, so do all of our sunglasses.)
While eye diseases can sound scary, there are actually a lot of ways to catch early-on symptoms and help combat the spookiness of it all. Be sure to protect your eyes with Bomber Eyewear all year long!