Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that gets worse with age. It is one of the leading causes of severe vision problems in people over the age of 50. As much as it hardly causes blindness, it can affect your everyday life.
AMD is often associated with age, but aging is not the only risk factor. AMD can also be a result of a gene factor, smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. In some cases, too much exposure to sunlight is also assumed to be a contributing factor.
There are two types of AMD: dry and wet form:
The dry form is when yellow deposits, known as drusen, form in the macula. If the yellow deposits are few, you may not experience any changes in your vision. But, if the deposits are many and bigger, then you might experience blurry or distorted vision.
The wet form results from blood vessels growing underneath or below your macula. When the blood vessels leak blood into the retina, your vision gets distorted. Eventually, it leads to permanent loss of central vision.
During the early signs of AMD, you may not notice any symptoms since it is not painful. However, with time, it gets worse, and the symptoms become more vivid. Some of the common symptoms include:
Difficulty in seeing or reading in poor lighting conditions
Blurry central vision in one or both the eyes
Difficulty in differentiating colors
In most cases, you may hardly notice the symptoms of the disease have only affected one eye. You need to cover one eye to know which eye has more symptoms of AMD.
There is no specific cure for AMD. You can prevent it by knowing your family history, eating leafy vegetables, taking nutritional supplements, and visiting your optometrist.
Some of the treatment options to slow down the process of losing your vision include:
Laser therapy is using high-energy light to get rid of overgrown blood vessels in your eye.
These drugs are to prevent your blood vessels from leaking too many fluids or blood into the eyes. It also reduces the risk of getting wet AMD. Note that you may need to take these drugs several times before you see any results.
Photodynamic Laser Therapy involves injecting a light-sensitive drug into your bloodstream, which can get absorbed by your blood vessels. After that, your doctor shines a laser light into your eyes to destroy the blood vessels.
If you already have vision loss due to AMD, you can use special lenses to magnify objects so that they appear bigger and clearer.
Learn more about age-related macular degeneration, contact Eyecare Center in McKee, Richmond, Lexington, Beattyville, and Irvine, KY (859) 208-2020.