Your vision care experts see all types of common and unusual ophthalmic conditions. Drusen in the eyes is the accumulation of small white or yellow particles. The word comes from the German meaning node. These pebbles or particles are extracellular matter that collects over time. These particles are made of fatty proteins or lipids that become lodged within the eye tissue layers. They are usually located between the retinal pigment epithelium and Bruch’s membrane in the eye, near the optic nerve. They contain light sensing cell tissue that is vital for visual acuity.
There are two types of matter, categorized as soft and hard. Soft drusen are bunched together and are big. Hard drusen are reduced in size and scattered about the eye tissue. Drusen is an age related disorder. This means it is normal to see hard drusen in individuals over 40 years old or of advanced age. Hard drusen usually does not trigger any problems and does not need treatment.
Alternatively, soft drusen that are sizable and abundant yellow or white flecks in the eye may be a symptom of age related macular degeneration. This serious condition may lead to blindness and is common in people over 60 years of age. Soft drusen may cause the cells in the eye to scar or bleed. If the condition progresses, the loss of central vision may occur. Central vision is what we see when we look straight ahead.
Risk factors include a genetic family history, age, prolonged elevation of cholesterol levels, and smoking.
Annual eye checkup appointments are vital to detect visual problems early and begin treatment. At Accent Eyes, your eye care professional can spot drusen during a complete eye exam. If they do, your doctor may wish to order additional tests that rule out age related macular degeneration.
Make your appointment today and let the ophthalmologist know if you are experiencing any other problems of symptoms.