Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye disorder that affects the macula, the portion of the eye responsible for central vision. It is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss among individuals over the age of 60. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet.
Dry AMD is the most prevalent form of the disease, accounting for approximately 85-90% of cases. It occurs due to the gradual deterioration of the macula caused by aging and the buildup of waste called drusen. It typically progresses slowly and may not cause significant vision loss for many years.
Wet AMD is a more advanced form of the disease, accounting for around 10-15% of cases. It is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels behind the macula. These blood vessels can leak fluid and blood, resulting in damage to the macula and rapid vision loss.
Symptoms of AMD include:
- Blurred or distorted vision in the center of the field of vision
- Difficulty seeing fine details, such as reading or recognizing faces
- Difficulty adjusting to low light
- A dark or empty area in the center of the field of vision
- Gradual loss of color vision
- Need for brighter light to see
- Difficulty performing daily activities such as reading, writing, and recognizing faces
Currently, there is no cure for AMD, but certain treatments can slow its progression and preserve vision. These include:
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
- Injections or laser treatment for wet AMD
- Low vision aids and devices
- Regular eye exams to monitor the disease’s progression
Early detection and diagnosis of AMD is crucial to prevent vision loss and preserve vision, therefore regular eye exams and screenings are essential.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in individuals over 60 years of age.
There are several risk factors associated with the development of this condition such as smoking, obesity, and exposure to UV rays. Additionally, Caucasians are at a significantly higher risk for developing ARMD compared to African Americans. Furthermore, macular degeneration affects women more frequently than men, and there is also a genetic component associated with it.
- Overview Macular degeneration, also known as AMD, ARMD, or age-related macular degeneration, is an age-related condition where the macula, the most sensitive part of the retina, begins to deteriorate and lose its ability to produce clear visual images.
- Forms of Macular Degeneration The symptoms of dry macular degeneration include consistent, slightly blurred vision in the central field of vision. You may have difficulty recognizing faces and a sudden need for more light while reading or performing tasks. This form of the disease gradually worsens over time. The symptoms of wet macular degeneration include distorted straight lines and difficulty focusing on a single point within a grid. Wet macular degeneration is a more advanced stage of the disease and often leads to blind spots and loss of central vision.
- Symptoms & Risk Factors of Macular Degeneration The symptoms of macular degeneration vary depending on the type (dry or wet) and stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
- Treatment of Macular Degeneration Currently, there is no known cure for macular degeneration, but some treatments may slow its progression and even improve vision.