Drusen are tiny, white deposits which form between Bruch's membrane and the retinal pigment epithelium. Drusen are believed to be early warning signs of Age-related Macular Degeneration. Forms of drusen include optic nerve head drusen (ONHD), and dominant radial drusen. For a visual representation on drusen formation, click here for the website for the Center for the Study of Macular Degeneration.
Who can get it?
Drusen are common after age 60 and occur mostly in caucasians; drusen are sometimes an early sign of macular degeneration.
What are the symptoms?
Although most drusen have no symptoms, some people report a mild decrease of visual acuity and defects in the vision.
What is the treatment?
Drusen associated with macular degeneration can clear up with proper nutritional supplements such as antioxidants. Other forms of drusen may not respond to any type of therapy, so it's a good idea to check with your doctor about supplements. Avoid birth control pills or cortisone. Certain conditions that raise or significantly lower blood pressure can affect drusen. Some people with optic nerve ischemia are believed to have drops in blood pressure at night so it's a good idea not to take blood pressure medicines before bed.
Relaxation or biofeedback may help to improve circulation--many people with ocular blood flow problems tend to also have circulation problems to their hands. Check with your doctor for possible nutritional aids that can help with your circulation, such as fish oil capsules.
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