Vision impairment is a common problem for millions of Americans. Even though so many people live with vision impairment, the causes and types of vision loss vary greatly. In the most basic terms, vision loss can affect a person’s peripheral or central vision.
Central vision loss impacts a person’s ability to focus on fine details or perform daily tasks such as driving, reading, and working on the computer. Conditions that affect central vision often develop as a person ages. Routine eye care services, including comprehensive eye exams, can be performed to diagnose the conditions that affect central vision so our Monterey, CA patients can undergo treatment to prevent a complete loss of central vision.
Understanding Central Vision
The reason that vision loss is so unique for each patient is that every part of the eye has its own specific role and function. Central vision, or that which is responsible for focusing on details within a person’s central range, is controlled primarily by the macula. The macula is part of the retina, which is the collection of nerves that lies against the back of the eye. If the macula at the center of the retina becomes damaged or compromised, central vision will be affected. Likewise, if other parts of the retina become damaged, the macula may be impacted and, thus, central vision can suffer.
When Is Central Vision Likely to Be Compromised?
Most eye conditions can develop at any time. However, it is unlikely for conditions that affect the central vision to develop during a person’s childhood, or even young adulthood. The majority of conditions that affect the macula are directly related to a person’s age.
During every eye exam, our experienced doctors will thoroughly examine each part of the eye for any signs of damage. Typically, eye conditions that affect central vision do not develop until patients reach their 60s.
There are several conditions that can impact the health of the macula and lead to vision issues such as blind spots in the central vision, blurry vision, or wavy vision. The macular conditions that are most commonly responsible for compromised central vision include:
- Age-related macular degeneration: There are both wet and dry forms of this condition. Dry AMD leads to the creation of protein clusters in the macula, while wet AMD results in leaking fluids that scar the retina. Both forms of AMD greatly impact central vision.
- Macular edema: This condition is characterized by a thick or swollen macula, which disrupts central vision.
- Macular hole or pucker: If the macula is puckered, wrinkled, or has a hole in its tissues, vision is likely to be blurry or wavy.
- Diabetic retinopathy: Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to swelling or leaking of the blood vessels in the retina. Though this condition specifically affects the retina, the macula will be compromised as well and central vision loss may occur.
There are no cures for the conditions that affect central vision. However, these conditions can be managed and controlled to minimize damage and preserve clear vision. Typical treatments for these conditions include prescription eyewear, laser treatment, and medication. Our doctors will create a customized treatment plan based on each patient’s unique needs and desires.
Schedule an Appointment
At Monterey County Eye Associates, we offer a full range of eye care services to meet your comprehensive vision needs. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn how these services can benefit the health and function of your eyes.