What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can cause central vision to become blurry. It happens when ageing causes damage to the macula(part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision). AMD is a leading factor in vision loss for older adults. Even though losing your center vision doesn't result in total blindness, it can make it more difficult to read, drive, recognize people, or perform close-up tasks like cooking or home maintenance.
Now you might be looking for complete information about Age-related Macular Degeneration. So let's have a look.
Types of AMD:
Dry AMD- Dry AMD is characterized by aging-related thinned areas of the macula and the development of small protein aggregates called drusen. Central vision slowly fades. Dry AMD is currently untreatable.
Wet AMD- Wet AMD is the most frequent cause of severe loss of vision. It develops when abnormal blood vessels start to grow underneath the retina. They can cause a significant blind spot in the middle of the field of vision and leak fluid and blood.
Causes of AMD:
- having a family history of macular
- being over 55 years old
- exposure to UV rays
- having overweight or obesity
- having cardiovascular disease
- having high cholesterol
- having high blood pressure
- taking a high saturated fat diet
Symptoms of AMD:
- the size of the impacted central area could grow
- blurred vision
- dark spots in the center of your vision
- straight lines appearing wavy
- numbers and letters appearing jumbled
- words disappearing when reading
- poor adaptation to low lights
- unable to judge distances properly
Diagnosis of AMD:
- Amsler grid test- Amsler grids are used for both monitoring and diagnosis. The idea is to observe variations in the line alignment, which show the course of the disease. Wet macular degeneration may be indicated by the irregularity of some of the grid's lines.
- Fluorescein angiography- During fluorescein angiography, your doctor injects a colored dye into a vein in your arm. Your eye will finally receive the dye, which will enable your doctor to check the blood vessels there. They will next use a special camera to take a picture of your eye. Thereafter, these photos will be used to look for problems and changes in your blood vessels and retina.
- Indocyanine green angiography- In this test, your doctor injects your arm with indocyanine green dye. This test can be used to validate the outcomes of fluorescein angiography. The choroid layer of the eye, which cannot be detected with fluorescein angiography, may also be revealed.
- Optical coherence tomography- In optical coherence tomography, the retinae are cross-sectionally scanned to look for swelling, thickening, or thinning. Your doctor might do this kind of test after making the diagnosis of macular degeneration to determine how your eyes react to the therapy.
Treatment of AMD:
Age-related Macular Degeneration(AMD) can't be cured. Early treatment can reduce the severity of symptoms and slow the spread of the disease. Even with effective therapies, AMD symptoms often return. Depending on the type of disease, treatments include:
- Nutritional supplements- A combination of vitamins and minerals may slow the progression of dry AMD.
- Antivascular endothelial growth factor- This treatment sometimes improves vision. It blocks the production of VEGF, a protein that produces new blood vessels. Anti-VEGF is injected into a numb eye by your eye doctor. Blood vessel growth is slowed or stopped by the medication.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT)- During Photodynamic therapy, your eye doctor uses a combination of an injectable light-sensitive drug and a laser to eliminate extra blood vessels in the eye. PDT and anti-VEGF may be given together by your doctor.
Prevention of AMD:
- Having regular eye checkups
- Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays
- Having a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Exercising regularly
- Quitting or avoiding smoking
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