Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition that is usually associated with older adults. It is known to be one of the leading causes of vision loss. This disease destroys the central vision (the macula), which is in charge of making a person see fine details and is responsible for helping a person see clearly with daily activities like reading, writing and driving.
The macula is located at the center of the retina, a light sensitive tissue located at the rear of the eye.
There are two kinds of AMD, dry and wet.
Wet AMD takes place when there are abnormal blood vessels growing at the back of the retina. These new blood vessels cause scarring and blood leakage, which can lead to loss of sight. This type of condition can develop very fast, but does not have stages unlike dry AMD. Straight lines that appear wavy or crooked is one of the early signs of wet AMD.
Dry AMD develops very slowly compared to Wet AMD. It is known to be the most common type of condition. Dry AMD takes place when the light sensitive cells (retinal pigment epithelial) gradually break down in the macula. The condition of Dry AMD may vary in three stages namely, early AMD, intermediate AMD and advanced dry AMD. An early sign of wet AMD is blurred vision.
AMD Treatment and Prevention
People with wet AMD can be treated by injections, laser surgery and photodynamic therapy.
While the treatment for dry AMD may depend on the patient’s condition. Patients with advanced dry AMD cannot be treated, but patients who are suffering from intermediate AMD have greater chance to delay or prevent progression of the disease. According to the national eye institute, zinc and antioxidants may significantly trim down risks of intermediate AMD and vision loss.
Living a healthy lifestyle and a regular visit with your ophthalmologist for AMD screening will help reduce the chances of having AMD. Exercising, eating right and not smoking are few of the key examples that will help prevent AMD.