The first noticeable symptoms of macular degeneration are often wavy lines, followed by vision distortion and differences in color perception, according to WebMD. Other symptoms include distorted central vision, blurry white or dark patches, and difficulty seeing details and objects in the distance.
Most people experience no symptoms with macular degeneration until it affects both eyes or progresses, WebMD states. That's why it is important for people over age 45 to have an eye examination every two to four years. Routine exams can detect macular degeneration and other eye conditions before they are serious.
Age-related macular degeneration is the most common eye disease in patients over 45, notes WebMD. It affects primarily central vision. The condition takes two forms, referred to as dry or wet. Dry macular degeneration accounts for 90 percent of the cases. Wet macular degeneration is a more damaging form of the disease.
White women over age 60 are most likely to develop macular degeneration, WebMD explains. Other risk factors include family history of the condition, obesity, high blood pressure and smoking. Patients can prevent macular degeneration by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, treating high blood pressure and eating a diet that includes lots of fish and leafy green vegetables.