Macular dystrophy is a are Eye Disease. Most eye diseases could be corrected with glasses or surgery but not this one. Unfortunately, macular dystrophy is not curable. The reason hides in the fact that it is not simple eye disease but more like a genetic disease. Keep reading and you will find out what causes macular dystrophy and why there is no cure for it.
What in fact is macular dystrophy?
Probably you know what is the structure of your eyes but in case you don’t, we will briefly explain it. In every human eye, there is a retina. In the middle of the retina, you can find the macula. The macula is responsible for colour perception and central vision. As you can guess, when the macula can’t perform its own duties, the person can’t see properly.
People report that they have significant difficulties to see in front of them so they can’t drive or read. The damage part is actually pigment cells that overcome the macula. That’s why the patient has blurred vision in front of him. An interesting fact is that the rest of the vision is intact. Unfortunately, macular dystrophy is a progressive disease so a patient’s condition will become worse with time. That’s why the best case scenario is the ophthalmologist to find out how fast patient’s condition is developing. Then the patient will have enough time to prepare his life and family and to adapt.
What causes macular dystrophy?
The only part of the reason is clear to the medics – genetic mutation. In details, if the BEST1 gene mutates, it causes Best disease, if the PRPH2 gene mutates, it causes adult-onset macular dystrophy. That’s all science know about causes of macular dystrophy. They don’t know why these genes mutate, they don’t know why mutation is causing storing pigmentation cells in the macula and they don’t know how to stop the process of happening.
Have in mind, that macular degeneration is a completely different term. It is the name of another eye disease, which is caused by ageing not mutation. You could distinguish two types of eye disease as you remember that the macular dystrophy occurs in children also while macular degeneration only in adults. However, both of them have the same symptoms like blindness or blurring in the central vision.
How could I find out if I have macular dystrophy?
The simple answer is that you will have troubles with your vision but you won’t be able to determine which is the exact cause. That’s why booking an appointment for visiting ophthalmologist is the best thing you can do. Actually, he won’t be able to tell you the reason only by examining you he will run some additional tests. One of them is fluorescein angiography, which is able to define if there is retinal damage and how bad it is. Next step is finding out how fast the disease is developing.
Another test which you might have to do is optical coherence tomography. It detects if there is a presence of yellow-brown pigment in the macula. If there is one, you have macular dystrophy.
The last option is the electroretinographic examination. It will show how bad or good your eyes see light. The quantity of received light beams will show if there is some serious internal problem. The ophthalmologist will determine if you have to make additional tests.
All tests are completely safe and won’t hurt your eyes. In addition, they are painless so you don’t have to worry about the pain. Find a good eye specialist and trust his assessment of your condition. Eye specialists with enough experience will lead you through the process and will answer all your questions. They will also explain to you and point you in the right direction for treatment options.
Macular Dystrophy treatment options
As we mentioned above, there is still no cure for this eye condition. Light in the tunnel are some gene therapies. The stem cell therapy shows significant improvement – it stops the development of the disease. There are not many tests because stem cell therapy is expensive and hard to perform but from the data, which is available, we might expect good things to happen in the future.