Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related muscular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual loss in persons over 50. People suffering from AMD lose their central vision and cannot perceive things immediately in front of them. Although AMD cannot result in complete blindness, it can significantly impact daily living. In this post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options and, eventually, answer the most frequently asked questions on AMD.
What is AMD?
AMD damages central vision, meaning that persons with AMD cannot perceive people or objects directly in front of them. This frequent age-related eye condition affects persons over the age of 50. The macula, the rear section of the retina that governs central vision, is affected by AMD. People suffering from AMD are not entirely blind. Their peripheral vision (the capacity to perceive things on the sides) is adequate. Patients suffering from AMD require a lot of family support.
There are two types of AMD
There may be drusen, or yellow deposits, in the macula of people with this disorder. A few tiny drusen may not affect your vision. However, if their size and number increase, they may obscure or distort your vision, making it difficult to do tasks like reading. Eventually, the disease will cause the light-sensitive cells in your macula to thin out to the point where they no longer function. Some people with the atrophic form experience central blind spots. Central vision loss is a potential outcome as the disease progresses.
When AMD affects the blood vessels form underneath your macula. These blood veins allow liquids and blood to enter your retina (where the pictures are formed). This form causes straight lines to appear wavy. Blind patches and loss of central vision are also possible. These bleeding blood vessels eventually create a scar, resulting in irreversible loss of central vision.
Factors causing AMD
AMD is a hereditary eye disease. However, the condition can emerge in persons with no family history. AMD develops when the macula in the rear of the eye degrades to the progression of age.
Signs and Symptoms
The macula aids in transmitting pictures from the eye's optic nerve to the brain. If your macula is destroyed, your brain cannot interpret or decipher the images your eyes view. Many persons with age-related macular degeneration do not experience symptoms until the illness has advanced. You may encounter:
- Blurring of vision (low).
- There are blank or black areas in your range of view.
- The appearance of waves or curves.
Tests and Diagnosis
Because AMD seldom produces symptoms in its early stages, regular eye exams are critical for recognizing the illness and initiating therapy when it is most effective. The retina and macula are examined to detect any problems with vision. You may be given one or more of the following tests:
Amsler grid test:
An Amsler grid has a large central dot surrounded by a grid of straight lines. If you notice any foggy, wavy, or broken lines or sections of the grid, it can relate to early-stage AMD. A high degree of distortion may suggest that you have a progressing AMD.
Your healthcare professional injects a yellow dye called fluorescein into a vein in your arm. A unique camera follows the dye as it moves through the blood vessels in the eye. The images might indicate any leaking beneath the macula.
OCT (optical coherence tomography):
This imaging technique produces comprehensive pictures of the back of the eye, including the retina and macula. Optical coherence tomography is not an intrusive or uncomfortable procedure. You merely stare through a lens as the machine takes photographs.
Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA):
This diagnostic technique uses laser light reflection (rather than fluorescein dye) and an OCT scanning instrument. It just only a few seconds to get 3D photos of blood flow via the eye.
Management and Treatment
AMD is incurable. Early therapy can decrease disease development and lessen symptom severity. Even after effective therapy, AMD symptoms frequently reappear. The best treatment options available are:
Intake of vitamins and minerals: They may slow the development of dry age-related macular degeneration. These include vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and copper.
Anti-VEGF (antivascular endothelial growth factor): This treatment for wet AMD works by blocking the production of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), which is a protein (which destroys the retina). An eye specialist injects anti-VEGF into your eye (after local anesthesia). This therapy can occasionally help with eyesight.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT): Injectable light-sensitive medicine and a laser are used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) to eliminate abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye. Your practitioner may combine PDT and anti-VEGF therapy.
FAQs on Age-Related Muscular Degeneration
Does AMD affect both eyes?
AMD may affect either one or both eyes.
How common is AMD?
AMD is the most common cause of blindness worldwide, affecting more than 10 million Americans. In terms of public concern, this issue outnumbers both cataracts and glaucoma put together.
What are the risk factors for AMD?
As the name says, age-related macular degeneration is more likely to occur as you age. Other risk factors are:
- AMD runs in the family.
- A high-saturated-fat diet
- European race
How many phases of age-related macular degeneration are there?
AMD manifests itself in two phases. Symptoms such as visual loss are frequently not apparent until the disease is advanced.
The macula changes early on, although vision is unaffected.
Intermediate: Your vision may become hazy or wavy.
Late (advanced): Central vision entirely fails.
What are the potential problems for AMD patients?
Specific jobs might become challenging to do if you lose your central vision. Based on the severity of your visual impairment, you may be unable to read, identify people, drive, cook, or perform house maintenance. If your AMD is severe, you may be legally blind. These changes might contribute to melancholy and anxiety.
How can AMD be avoided?
You may reduce your risk of AMD by doing the following:
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce your weight.
- Maintain physical activity.
- Maintain your blood pressure and cholesterol levels within normal limits.
- Maintain a nutritious diet.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the most frequent age-related diseases. It impairs a person's ability to concentrate on objects and makes daily life impractical. The peripheral vision stays unaltered. Driving and reading become impossible in the latter stages of the condition. Regardless of how widespread AMD is, Cured.com recommends you prevent it by concentrating on a healthy lifestyle and nutrition. If you or someone around you suffers from AMD, get medical assistance immediately.From the Web