Macular degeneration, also referred to as AMD or ARMD, is caused by a process of wear and tear in the macula, which is the central part of the retina at the back of the eye. It is often associated with ageing and a leading cause of vision loss among people over the age of 65.
Macular degeneration usually affects both eyes. Vision loss can be gradual or abrupt and may affect your ability to drive, read and see fine detail. While this distortion can lead to absolute loss of central vision, macular degeneration rarely leads to total blindness as your side or peripheral vision is generally unaffected.
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) has two forms, wet and dry.
The dry form is a gradual loss of the photoreceptors (cells in the retina that help us see) with gradual deterioration in vision. This is a more common form of AMD. The dry form of AMD can convert to the wet form.
In the wet form a vessel from the vascular layer beneath the retina grows through cracks that have developed in the supporting membrane of the retina (inner layer of the back of the eye). These vessels often grow quickly and are fragile and can cause a leakage, resulting in swelling and bruising of the overlying retina. Treatment is now available which will prevent the growth of these vessels and stop them leaking.
Treatments for macular degeneration will depend on what stage the disease is in – dry form or wet form.
There is currently no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but some treatments may delay its progression or improve vision. In the earlier stages of dry form, nutritional intervention may help prevent its progression to the wet form.
If you are worried about macular degeneration or have a family history of it, please consult your doctor or contact us today for more information.