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What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?


Macular degeneration, or Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), is a medical condition in which your macula, located in the center of eye, begins to deteriorate.

The macula is a small area at the back of the eye that allous us to see fine details clearly and is responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read and drive.

Becuase the macula is effected central vision loss can occur.  AMD is the leading cause of sever vision loss in adults over the          age of 50.

It is estimated that over 1 million people have AMD and another 3 million are at a substantial rist of vision loss.


Two Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration:

  • "Dry" -  AMD can occur in two forms: "dry" (atrophic) and "wet" (exudative). Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form, for which there is no known treatment.This form is quite common.

About 8 out of 10 people who have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. This is typically found by your eye doctor during your annual eye exam. 

  • "Wet" -  AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. 

Symptoms  

·                Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly.

·           Shape of objects appears distorted.

·           Straight lines look wavy or crooked.

·           Loss of clear color vision. 

·            A dark or empty area in the center of vision.

 

How is Age-Related Macular Degeneration treated? 

  • There is no cure for dry AMD, and any loss in central vision cannot be restored.
  • Researchers and doctors believe there is a link between  nutrition and the progression of dry AMD.  Dietary changes favoring low-fat content and dark green leafy vegetables can slow vision loss.
  • Nutritional supplements such as lutein and zeaxanthinvitamin Cvitamin E and zinc are believed to aid in reducing the risk of AMD. 
  • “Wet” macular degeneration if detected early,  can be treated with laser treatment.
  • There is a new therapy available for "wet" AMD, which has shown some promising results, where a medication is injected into the back of the eye.

 

.Eye doctor examining a woman's eye. Close-up of how deposits under the retina can cause macular degeneration.

 

If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms,

contact our office and schedule your comprehensive eye examination.