Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
All You Need To Know About AMD
Aging is a natural process. The effects of aging on the eyes begins as early as 40 years-old. One out of three people over the age of 70 may be diagnosed as having age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD.
What Is AMD?
Age-related macular degeneration happens when the macular, which is the central area of the retina responsible for detailed vision, begins to deteriorate. The exact cause of the deterioration is unknown but genetics, age, diet & general health may be the factors.
Symptoms of AMD include:
- Sudden or gradual blurred vision - inability to recognise faces or watch TV
- Sudden or gradual distorted vision - wavy vision
- Distorted vision - a straight line may appear wavy
- Blind spots - a missing spot on a face or object of vision
There are two types of AMD:
- Dry (non-neovascular) - Dry AMD accounts for 85% of cases. It may not affect your vision at this moment, so early detection by seeing an optometrist is important.
- Wet (neovascular) - Wet AMD is an acute condition. It causes bleeding on the macular that leads to a sudden loss of vision. The patient will have to be treated immediately.
Who Is Prone To AMD?
Macular degeneration can affect everyone. As the world’s population continues to age, the number of people affected by AMD will increase.
Suspected to be a hereditary disease, those with degenerative eye disorders in their family history may be more prone to AMD. Females, smokers, obesity and hypertension are associated risk of AMD.
Are There Any Treatments for AMD?
There are currently no documented cures for age-related degeneration. There are, however, treatments in place that may slow the progression of AMD. These treatments include injections and laser, which are expensive and may not be able to regain full vision.
Studies have shown that nutritional supplements high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of dry AMD progressing into the more severe wet AMD.
To find out more about AMD symptoms and treatments, visit your optometrist.
Questions about AMD?
Visit your nearest optometrist to learn about symptoms and treatments