Degeneration treatable

2018-09-19 06:01

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a condition in which the retina is affected, is commonly known as “calcifying of the eyes”.

AMD is a condition which worsens slowly with time and leads to the decrease of central vision.

What is the retina?

The retina is a thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye on the inside, functioning a bit like the film of a camera.

What are the types of AMD?

There are two: a dry type, which leads to the slow degeneration of vision, and a moist type, which leads to sudden decrease in vision. Both are painless.

What is the cause of AMD?

The exact cause is not known, but risk factors have been identified:

  • being older than 50 years;
  • exposure to cigarette smoke;
  • hereditary factors;
  • cardiovascular disease;
  • high blood pressure;
  • high cholesterol;
  • obesity; and
  • having fair skin and light colour eyes.

How would AMD present?

Early onset AMD would present as fuzzy vision when your read, watch TV or even when looking at someone’s face. Later the eyes may become sensitive to light and the central vision may decrease even more.

Metamorphopsia occurs when objects appear somewhat skew and misaligned (distorted vision). This can be observed especially when looking at straight lines, for instance a doorway.

In advanced stages of AMD, the patient can experience a dark spot right in the centre of their field of vision. This spot prevents the patient from reading, watching television or recognising faces.

Sudden, intense decrease in vision could mean that the dry type of AMD has developed a bleed and thus turned into the moist type.

How is AMD diagnosed?

A comprehensive examination by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) is needed. Special examinations, for instance tomographic photos, would sometimes be needed to capture the inside of the eye or an angiogram of the eye could be necessary.

What is the treatment?

AMD can not be cured. Certain factors that can possibly slow down the progression of the dry type have been identified. This includes a healthy, balanced diet, rich in green and yellow vegetables, and a low fat count.

Important is frequent exercise and quitting smoking. Protecting your eyes from the ultraviolet rays of the sun by wearing quality sunglasses, is also important. Some can profit from taking specially formulated tablets, custom made for AMD, which consists of a mixture of vitamins and minerals.

Moist AMD kan be treated in several ways, which includes injections and laser treatment.

Low-vision aids can be used to help people suffering from AMD to function normally and execute their daily tasks. These include lightning and magnifying glasses to assist with reading.

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