Age-related-macular-degeneration-amd

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for people over the age of 50. It occurs when the delicate cells of the macula – the small, central part of the retina responsible for the centre of our field of vision and visual clarity - becomes damaged and stop working.

Is AMD painful and how does it affect one’s vision ?

AMD is not painful and never leads to total blindness because it is only the central vision that is affected. This means that almost everyone with AMD will have enough side (or peripheral) vision to get around and keep their independence.

In the early stages of AMD, central vision may be blurred or distorted and things may look an unusual size or shape. This may happen quickly or develop over several months, although if only one eye is affected it may not be noticed.

What are the different types of AMD ?

There are two types of AMD: the ‘dry’ form and the more severe ‘wet’ form. Dry AMD is more common, develops gradually over time and usually causes only mild loss of vision. The wet form accounts for only 10-15% of all AMD but the risk of sight loss is much greater. Because macular degeneration is an age-related process it usually involves both eyes, although they may not be affected at the same time.

What are the signs and symptoms of AMD ?

The symptoms depend on the form of the disease. There are two forms:

  • Exudative (commonly referred to as Dry): a sudden onset of distortion of objects and waviness of straight lines.
  • Non Exudative (commonly referred to as Wet): a gradual deterioration in sharpness and some distortion.

People with AMD may become sensitive to light or find it harder to distinguish colours. The macula enables people to see fine detail. So, those with the advanced condition will often notice a blank patch or dark spot in the centre of their sight. This makes activities like reading, writing and recognising faces very difficult.

What are the treatment options available ?

The treatment depends on the type of macular degeneration :

  • Exudative: Laser and drug treatment.
  • Non Exudative: No treatment but vision aids such as magnifiers may help.

Treatment success is variable and does not usually restore lost vision. However, new treatments are being developed all the time. One of the newest is PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT) which involves a light sensitive drug being injected into the blood stream to identify abnormal blood vessels growing behind the macula. A laser shone on these vessels then activates the drug and stops the vessels form growing and causing further damage. The best results are achieved in the early stages of disease onset. With the advent of newer drugs in the form of injections the outcome for these patients has become better, but the treatment protocols for these injections ( called anti-vegs agents) are still evolving.

Shekar Eye Hospital has renowned ophthalmologists who have expertise in treating AMD. Hundreds of patients have taken advantage of better vision after getting treated at Shekar Eye Hospital, Bangalore.

Jp nagar

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#633, 100 Feet Ring Road,

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Bengaluru – 560 078.

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Bengaluru-5600