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What is Macular Drusen?; How walking can help fight Macular Degeneration

In this July addition of the Healthy Eyes Report, Dr. Buensuceso focuses on questions you should ask your eye doctor during your next eye exam. You will learn about what Macular Drusen is and why you should now more about.

We also share how walking can help fight Macular Degeneration and provide you with insight on the Beaver Dam Study. And check out the link to our information and tips for one of the most enjoyable types of walking – hiking!

We hope you start you summer off right with this great issue of the Healthy Eyes Report!


signature of V Gallichio

Volker Gallichio
Vice-President, MedOp Health

In This Issue

  • FROM THE DOCTOR: What is Macular Drusen?
  • FITNESS: How walking can help fight Macular Degeneration
From the Doctor - Dr. Eric Buensuceso O.D.

Macular Drusen…Why It’s Important to You!

It’s that time again to get your eye exam and one of the things I want you to ask your eye doctor is, “How’s my Macula doing?”

For those of you who don’t know, the Macula is the area in the back of your eye that’s responsible for your central vision. Your Macula can accumulate cellular “garbage” that begins to interfere with how you see. This “garbage” is called Macular Drusen.

So why care about Macular Drusen?

Macular Drusen are yellow deposits found in the Macular area. Most Drusen are harmless when found in the retina. However, the presence of Drusen In the Macula could be the first clinical sign of Macular Degeneration.

When it comes to Macular Drusen, the size, shape and kind can be a factor as to what kind of Macular Degeneration you have. So, when you are in your eye doctor’s chair for an eye exam, ask for a dilated eye exam. This special eye exam uses eye drops that widen the dark part of the eye so your doctor can get a wider view of the Macular area and get a more complete assessment of how healthy your Macula is.

There are essentially two types of Drusen…

Hard Drusen:

This type of Drusen is essentially harmless and not related to the development of Macular Degeneration. They are yellow in color with very defined borders. They are small, round and develop in people starting at middle age. The important thing is that Hard Drusen may develop into Soft Drusen.

Soft Drusen:

This is the type of Drusen that usually is associated with Macular Degeneration. They are yellow, large and vary in size with no defined borders. They usually develop in people in their late 50’s. Large groups of Soft Drusen is usually associated with the end stage of Macular Degeneration called Wet AMD rather than the beginning stage called Dry AMD.

If your eye doctor detects Drusen in the back of your eye, you can also ask him if a referral to the Retinal Specialist is appropriate based on what he saw in your Retina. He may be surprised by your intimate knowledge of Drusen so if he asks how you know so much about it, tell him you read this e-newsletter.

In next month’s e-newsletter, we’ll be talking about some of the current treatment regimens for Macular Degeneration as well as some cutting-edge ways on how to combat the progression of AMD. If you have been newly diagnosed with AMD or want to know what’s out there in terms of treatment, you can’t miss next month’s issue!

Fitness banner, with older people exercising with swimming, situps, and walking

How Walking Can Help Fight Macular Degeneration

I know it’s hard to believe but walking can actually help with the incidence of AMD.

A study called the Beaver Dam Study looked at the correlation between exercise and AMD. They followed men and women between the years of 1988 – 1990. The study showed that, “Increased walking of more than 12 blocks daily decreased the incidence of exudative AMD by 30% over 15 years.”

Walking can be done anywhere and at any time making it infinitely flexible and low cost. It also can be FUN! You can listen to your favorite tunes, walk with friends or family members and use it as a stress reduction tool.

Take a walk with your dog, and with the long summer days take a hike (walk) in the woods to appreciate the natural beauty and views…just remember to bring enough water for hydration.

So, go out there and enjoy walking around and help prevent AMD at the same time.