Metamorphopsia – What Are The Causes And How It Can Be Corrected?

It is a visual distortion that causes linear objects like lines or grids to appear curvy or round or even blank. This is due to the problems in the eye’s retina especially the macula. People first notice they suffer from this kind of distortion when looking at the blinds in their homes. This distortion can lead to misrepresentation of an object’s shape or size.

What Are The Symptoms Of Metamorphopsia And Is It Curable?

The macula which sits in the center of the retina and helps in seeing things clearly gets damaged due to injury, old age, or disease then metamorphopsia can result.

Metamorphopsia - causes and treatments

Symptoms of Metamorphopsia

This affects the central vision of the eyes and distorts linear objects’ appearance. It can occur in both eyes or in 1 eye. Common symptoms of this distortion are:

  • Straight objects like signposts appear wavy
  • Flat thinks like the signs looks rounded
  • Shapes such as faces can appear distorted
  • Objects appear smaller than they are or bigger than they are

Causes of Metamorphopsia

A variety of eye disorders leading to metamorphopsia and usually treating the underlying cause solves this distortion.

AMD is age-related macular degeneration where the macula is severely affected. This is genetically related occurring in older people. There are 2 types of AMD, wet AMD, and dry AMD. In wet AMD blood vessels leak blood and fluid damaging the macula. In dry AMD macula gets thinner due to old age and fatty proteins clump under the surface leading to vision loss.

ERMs are epiretinal membranes where a defect in the surface lining the retina affects the vascular regions in the eye. This defect is caused by old age, retinal tears, and diseases like diabetes.

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina detaches from the structures that support it impacting vision. This may happen due to injury, trauma, or disease. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical treatment to prevent permanent vision loss.

A macular hole as the name implies is a small tear or break in the macula and his break can happen due to age. If one eye is affected then there is a 10-15% chance of developing it in the other eye.

Treatment of Metamorphopsia

Metamorphopsia is a symptom of macular and retinal degeneration and treating the underlying problem should help in solving this distortion.  If you have wet AMD then your doctor may suggest laser surgery to slow or stop blood leaking into your retina from faulty vessels. If you have dry AMD then your doctor might prescribe Vitamin C and E which have been shown to slow the disease.

If you have detached retina surgery to reattaching it will be necessary. Hence quantitative evaluation of metamorphopsia is crucial in understanding an individual’s visual functions with macular disorders and is an important tool for physicians in evaluating treatment results.

Distorted vision is a common symptom of retinal and macular eye problems and is a hallmark of metamorphopsia and depending on the underlying factor causing this condition its severity may be significant. Once the underlying eye disorder is treated metamorphopsia significantly improves. Early detection goes a long way in treating this particular symptom.

Metamorphopsia can be prevented to a great extent as long as it isn’t heavily influenced by genetic factors. Leading a healthy lifestyle, taking enough rest, staying hydrated, and not taxing your eyes go a long way in maintaining them. Exercise your eyes regularly, blink often, reduce screen time, sleep well at night in order to reduce the strain on your eyes. Always wear clean contact lenses and check for their expiry date before using them. Don’t apply old and expired eye makeup and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Metamorphopsia is a disorder that is a commonly occurring symptom of the retina and eye degeneration and is difficult to detect early. As this usually occurs in old people we can say if one takes very good care of their health and lead a healthy lifestyle then many eye diseases can be prevented including dry eyes which will also prevent getting this distortion in the first place. Metamorphopsia is slightly difficult to cure as shown by one study where patients still reported distorted vision a year after successful surgery for a detached retina.

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