The leading cause of visual loss in persons over 50 is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Wet AMD typically result in quick vision loss, but dry AMD can produce a progressive degradation of vision. AMD causes central vision loss, making it impossible for a person to see what is directly in front of them. Although AMD doesn’t result in complete blindness, it can significantly impact daily life.
Age-related macular degeneration: How widespread is it?
Macular degeneration affect more than 10 million people in the US. It is the main contributor to vision loss. More people are affected by the illness than by glaucoma, cataracts, and combined.
Who is susceptible to Age-related macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, as its name suggest, is more likely to happen as you get older. Other danger signs consist of:
- AMD in the family
- Excess weight
- Elevated blood pressure
- Consuming a lot of saturated fats
- Having European ancestry
What forms of Age-related macular degeneration are there?
AMD comes in two forms:
Dry (atrophic): The dry form of macular degeneration affect up to 90% of patients. It appear when drusen, which are very little yellow protein deposit, accumulate beneath the macula. The deposit dry up and make the macula thinner. With the dry type, vision loss typically happen gradually.
Wet (exudative): The development of aberrant blood vessels beneath the retina and macula cause this disease. Blood and liquids seep from the blood vessels (a condition called choroidal neovascularization, or CNV).
What signs and symptoms are present in Age-related macular degeneration?
Images from the eye’s optic nerve are assisted in reaching the brain by the macula. Your brain cannot interpret or read the images that your eyes view if your macula is damage. Many sufferers of age-related macular degeneration don’t experience symptoms until the condition has get damage. You might encounter:
- Distorted vision
- Spots that are black or empty in your field of view
- A straight line’s impression of waves or curves
What tests are used to identify Age-related macular degeneration?
Annual eye exams are essential for identifying AMD and launching treatments at the optimal time. It is because the illness rarely exhibit symptoms in its early stages. Your eye doctor examine your retina and macula throughout the examination, In order to look for any changes. You might get many tests.
Visual field test: An Amsler grid has a grid of straight lines with a sizable dot in the centre. Your doctor could ask you to point out any lines or areas of the grid that are hazy, wavering, or broken. If there is a lot of distortion. You may have AMD or the condition is getting worse.
Examining your eyes while they are dilated: Eye drops widen your pupils. Your healthcare professional will use a special lens to look inside your eyes after dilating them.
Fluorescein angiography: A vein in your arm is inject with a yellow dye called fluorescein. Moreover, the dye is follow as it pass through the blood vessels in the eye by a specialise camera.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT): This imaging tool captures precise pictures of the retina and macula in the rear of the eye. Its tomography is non-invasive and uncomfortable.
Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA): This diagnostic method make use of the OCT scanning apparatus and laser light reflection. It provide 3D images of blood flow via the eye in a matter of seconds.
How can I stop macular ageing from occurring?
You can reduce your risk of AMD by doing the following precautions:
- Stop smoking
- Reduce weight
- Continue to be active
- Maintain normal levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Eat a balanced diet
In older persons, age-related macular degeneration is the main factor contributing to vision loss. However, AMD does not result in total blindness. The loss of central vision might make it more difficult to perform daily chores. The most prevalent type of AMD is dry AMD, which gradually impairs vision. Taking dietary supplements could delay the onset of the illness.