In light of AMD Awareness Month, we will be taking a look AMD, its forms and ways to reduce progression.
According to Zeiss, “Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60, and it is growing at an alarming rate all over the world. “ Currently there is no cure for AMD but treatment may slow down the progression of the disease and prevent severe loss of vision.
There are 2 forms of AMD, the first being Dry. Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease and is caused by parts of the macular progressively getting thinner. Whilst this is occurring, small clumps of protein, also known as drusen, grow. Wet AMD develops when abnormal blood vessels grow into the macula. These leak blood or fluid which leads to scarring of the macula and rapid loss of central vision. Wet AMD can develop very progressively compared to dry AMD but it can now be treated if caught quickly through a fast referral to a specialist.
AMD affects your central vision. It is the deterioration of the macula which is the small central area of your eye’s retina. AMD alone does not lead to complete blindness but the loss of central vision due to AMD can affect everyday tasks. AMD is a progressive disease and it can impact your ability to read, recognise people, drive, watch television etc. For example, if you’re looking at a photo, you may only be able to see the outside of the photo whereas the middle of the photo will be unrecognisable. The disease can affect your near and far vision meaning you are losing a significant amount of vision.