- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Nov 16 2017
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disorder with your retina. It occurs when a part of the retina called the macula is diminished. With AMD your central vision is lost. You can’t see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral or side vision will still be balanced. For example, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD, you may see the clock’s numbers but not the hands.
AMD is very common. It is a foremost cause of vision loss in people fifty years or older.
2 types of AMD:
This form is rather common. About eighty percent people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when areas of the macula get thinner with age and minute lumps of protein called drusen grow. You gradually lose central vision. There is no procedure to manage dry AMD yet.
This form is less common but much more critical. Wet AMD is when new, unusual blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may dribble blood or other fluids, causing damage of the macula. You lose vision rapidly with wet AMD than with dry AMD.
Many individuals don’t notice they have AMD until their vision is very blur. This is why it is crucial to have frequent visits to an ophthalmologist. He or she can look for early symptoms of AMD before you have any vision issues.
Who is at Risk for AMD?
You are more likely to develop AMD if you:
Eat a diet high in saturated fat which can be found in foods like butter, meat and cheese
If you are overweight
Are over fifty years old
Have a family history of AMD
You are Caucasian (white)
Having heart disease is another risk element for AMD, as is having inflated cholesterol levels.
Diagnosis of AMD
During an examination of the eye, your ophthalmologist may ask you to look at an Amsler grid. This mesh helps you notice any blurry or blank spots in your area of vision. Your specialist will also look inside your eye past a special lens. He or she can see if there are alterations in the macula and retina.
To dilate or widen your pupil your ophthalmologist will put drops in your eye. This allows him or her to look through a special lens at the inside of your eye.
To see what is happening with your retina your specialist may perform fluorescein angiography. Yellow dye (called fluorescein) is injected into a vein, generally in your arm. The dye moves past your blood vessels. As the dye travels throughout its blood vessels a special camera takes photos of the retina. This exhibits if abnormal new blood vessels are growing under the retina.
Another way to look closely at the retina is Optical coherence tomography (OCT). A machine scans the retina and gives very thorough images of the retina and macula.
How is AMD treated?
Currently, there is no method to treat the dry form of AMD. However individuals with serious vision loss or lots of drusen or might benefit from taking a particular blend of nutritional supplements. A large research found those people may slow their dry AMD by taking these minerals and vitamins every day:
Vitamin E (400 IU)
Vitamin C (500 mg)
Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
Lutein (10 mg)
Copper (2 mg)
Zinc (80 mg)
Your ophthalmologist can tell you if vitamins and minerals are advisable for your dry AMD.
To help manage wet AMD, there are medications called anti-VEGF drugs. Anti-VEGF treatment helps lessen the number of abnormal blood vessels in your retina. It also slows down any leaking from blood vessels. This medicine is administered to your eye through a very slender needle.
To treat some kinds of wet AMD, Laser surgery may also be used. Your eye surgeon radiates a laser light beam on the abnormal blood vessels. This minimizes the number of vessels and slows their leaking.
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