The macula is at the middle of the retina and helps you see the fine details of objects ahead of you. Over time, the macula deteriorates and affects the ability to see clearly. The wearing down of the macular due to age is called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
AMD can lead to severe eyesight problems and is very common in individuals over 50 years old. Ophthalmologists from reputed clinics like Personal Eyes usually can detect AMD with a routine eye examination. If you have blurry vision or blank spots, then it’s highly likely you have AMD.
Types of AMD
There are two variants of age-related macular degeneration:
Individuals with dry AMD have yellow protein deposits in their retina known as drusen. If these multiply or get more prominent, it will blur your vision and make it difficult to see details of objects.
When unusual blood vessels grow under the retina, they leak fluid and blood into the photoreceptors (light-sensitive retinal cells). It causes scarring in the macula and distorts vision.
Causes of AMD
The exact causes of AMD are unknown, but certain factors increase the risk of developing it.
You have a higher risk of getting AMD if you:
- Have AMD-affected family members
- Are a smoker
- Have light skin or light eye colour
- Have a diet with high levels of carbohydrates and fats
- Struggle with obesity
- Have high blood pressure
- Are above 50 or 60 years old
- Have high cholesterol levels
- Have existing heart conditions
- Do not exercise
Treatment for AMD
There is no complete cure for AMD, and it is usually treated only when it crosses its early stages. You can improve your diet and work out regularly to prevent further deterioration of your macula. At its later stages, AMD has different treatments for both Dry and Wet forms.
Dry AMD Treatment
When dry AMD reaches its intermediate or severe stages, the treatment involves healthy food like dark greens, fruits, vegetables, and fish and specific vitamins and minerals. Patients can inhibit the progression of AMD by taking the following regularly:
- Vitamin C and E
Wet AMD Treatment
Your healthcare provider will use laser therapy aimed at the abnormally developing blood vessels to stop the further development of AMD. Many new advancements have emerged in the field of laser therapy.
VEGF is a kind of protein that creates new blood vessels. The doctor introduces an anti-VEGF into the eye through injection after numbing the area. An anti-VEGF inhibits the production of blood vessels. Drugs like Lucentis and Avastin are anti-VEGF drugs. They help curb the progressive loss of eyesight and even improve vision in some cases.
A doctor uses photodynamic therapy to destroy the unnecessary blood vessels in your eye that cause wet AMD. He/she will use laser treatment while injecting a light-sensitive drug during this process.
Low Vision Aids
Vision aids can magnify images in front of you so you can see them. These devices have electronic systems or special lenses to help create the enlarging effect.
Submacular surgery removes the scar tissue or other linked bleeding in the macula that hinders proper vision.
Retinal translocation surgery includes the relocation of the detached portion of the retina that contains the macula. This surgery aims to move the macula to another location in the eye with lesser or no damage when compared to the previous one.
Suppose you experience any of the symptoms of macular degeneration like distorted or blurry vision. In that case, it’s best to visit a specialist clinic like Personal Eyes for early detection and treatment.