Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, also referred to as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), is the single largest cause of sight loss in the developed world and affects more than 10 million Americans. It usually affects people over the age of 60, but can affect those who are younger.  It only affects the central vision, it does not affect the peripheral vision, meaning that it does not cause complete blindness.

What Is The Macula?

The Macula is responsible for our central vision which allows us to see fine details with clarity.

Varieties Of ARMD

Wet ARMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow into the macula, leaking blood or fluid, which then causes a rapid loss of central vision. Wet ARMD can develop suddenly and urgent referral to a specialist is essential as it can be treated if caught quickly.

Dry ARMD is more common than Wet ARMD. It is caused by a gradual deterioration of the cells of the Macula. Up to 15% of people with Dry ARMD go on to develop Wet ARMD, so if there are any sudden changes in your vision, you should call your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects each person differently, which means that it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, particularly as you may not notice any change in your vision early on in the condition. However, as the cells deteriorate, you will start to see an increasing range of symptoms, including:

  • Distortion or bends in what should be straight lines (such door frames)

  • Dark spots in your central vision

  • Fading colors

  • Difficulty adapting from dark to light environments or vice versa

  • Blurred vision

  • Objects may appear to change shape, size or color, or may move or disappear

  • Bright lights may be difficult to tolerate

  • Words may disappear while you are reading

Is There Any Way I Can Reduce My Risk Of Developing AMD?

Experts suggest that the best thing you can do to minimize any potential risk is to ensure that you live a healthy, active lifestyle. You can do this by:

  • Stopping smoking

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of brightly colored fruit and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables such as spinach, Swiss Chard, and kale

  • Moderating your alcohol consumption or stop drinking alcohol altogether

  • Maintaining a healthy weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure

  • Getting regular exercise

  • Taking a supplement with Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso- Zeaxanthin, such as in Macuhealth vitamins


Treatment For AMD

Wet AMD can be treated with an injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medication into the eye. This should stop additional blood vessels from developing and stop your vision from deteriorating further.