According to polls, Americans dread blindness more than any other disability. And as people age, their chances for developing eye diseases increase dramatically. Few people are aware that macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease and that it is the leading cause of vision loss for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans.
Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
Dr. Carl Kupfer, former director of the National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute, has stated that macular degeneration will soon take on aspects of an epidemic. “The prevalence of AMD is expected to rise to 6.3 million by the year 2030, when even greater percentages of our population will have turned 60.”
Despite the fact that the disorder mainly affects older individuals, one 29-year-old suffers from a type of macular degeneration called conrad dystrophy. In a video…Mark Muszynski describes…the difficulty of small things like being able to see the light change in a crosswalk, differentiating between shampoo and conditioner bottles, and telling what’s happening in people’s facial expressions when he’s talking to them. But Muszynski is able to see his condition in a positive light, noting that the people around him are what matter.