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A 40-year-old member asked:

what is the known cause of macular degeneration?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ari Weitzner
Ophthalmology 33 years experience
God knows: A lot of research being done now. Seems to be a problem with metabolizing the rods and cones which leads to drusen, which affects the barrier to the vascular layer. Many theories out there.
Dr. Peter Francis
Retinal Surgery 29 years experience
Multifactorial: Macular degeneration describes a lot of conditions potentially. Some are single gene genetic disorders such as stargardt macular dystrophy. The most common cause is age-related macular degeneration. The condition has a strong genetic association (many genes involved). Other factors such as age, smoking, diet and other health factors contribute to its causation.
Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology 27 years experience
Genetics and age: Macular degeneration is a condition of the aging eye. Most people would get macular degeneration if they lived to be 150 years of age. The macula deteriorates with age and develops / deteriorates sooner in some families than others. Associated factors that can speed the development of macular degeneration are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, uv sunlight exposure.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
Unknown: The cause (trigger) for this condition, which is age related, is unknown. We know the effects, have some treatments available, and there is really extensive research in the cause but no positive results so far. A few are inherited but most have no obvious inheritance pattern. This is treated by retinal specialists who should be consulted if you are having problems.

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A 23-year-old member asked:

What exactly is macular degeneration?

5 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Kira
Ophthalmology 21 years experience
Two main forms: There are two general types: the dry form accounting for about 85% of cases which is generally a slow decrease of central vision. The wet form which is more severe has new blood vessels growing in the macula and generally causes more serious and rapid vision loss.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is there a difference between macular degeneration and age-related macular degeneration?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Samuel Barone
Ophthalmology 22 years experience
Technically yes: In general when people use the term 'macular degeneration' they are referring to the age-related form, but technically there are other types. Age-related macular degeneration is by far the most common, and the other and more rare forms are often hereditary and present much earlier in life.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is it true that macular degeneration is a growing problem?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Kira
Ophthalmology 21 years experience
Yes: Macular degeneration is directly related to aging. Given the population with the increasing age, the increase is inevitable.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is macular degeneration curable?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Samuel Barone
Ophthalmology 22 years experience
Unfortunately not.: While there are ways to slow or treat the disease processes in age-related macular degeneration, particularly the wet form, there is presently no cure for the disease.
A 22-year-old member asked:

What are the risk factors for macular degeneration?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Cohen
Family Medicine 28 years experience
Family History: One of the most prevalent risk factors for the development of macular degeneration is family history.

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Last updated Feb 9, 2020

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