Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in people over 65 in industrialised countries. AMD affects the central part of the retina, called the macula.
This part is responsible for the fine sight which is also the central field of vision. The main symptom is a progressive loss of vision, affecting the central part of the visual field.
Research into the causes of Age-related Macular Degeneration is ongoing, but factors such as genetic make-up, smoking, cardiovascular problems, and diet are related to this condition.
AMD can be diagnosed through a comprehensive ophthalmological examination. The ophthalmic surgeon will perform a full eye examination concentrating on the macula. To check the retina, drops that dilate the pupil are used which will blur vision for a few hours. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a special retina scanner that images the macula in high resolution. These images enable assessment of new vessels growing into the retina, the macular oedema, macular haemorrhages, etc.
The most common type. It causes a slow, progressive loss of vision. There is no treatment for this condition and only a change of diet and use of vitamin complexes appear to slow progression.
This type is less common. It progresses faster than atrophic AMD, sometimes within days, causing macular haemorrhages. The growth of small vessels within the retina in the macular area is the main problem. There are new treatments that can be tried with this type of AMD.
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