Age related macular degeneration as the name signifies is a degenerative disease that affects a small spot – macula in the central area of retina.
AMD is a common cause of visual loss over age of 60 years due to increase in life expectancy esp. in developed western countries. Macula is responsible for the sight in the centre of the field of vision and is the most light sensitive part.
AMD may be wet = exudative or dry form.
ETIOLOGY AND DIAGNOSIS
- Dry AMD :- Dry AMD is very common (90%) but vision less with dry AMD tends to be moderate. It usually starts with drusens which eventually coalescent.
- Wet AMD :- In advance forms of disease, tiny blood vessels begin to grow rapidly beneath the retina which often breaks and leaks blood and fluid. That distorts the vision and cause scarring.
Visual field may become blurred or develop a blind spot.
There may be central loss of vision like empty/dark
spaces like seeing blurring of nose in face.
It can be detected and the progression can be checked
by means of Amsler grid.
The disease is hereditary because of genetic factors.
It may be associated with hypertension,
arteriosclerosis, excessive smoking.
At times ultraviolet radiation and direct exposure to
sun is also responsible.
- Lack of certain vitamins and minerals needed.
- Assess the progress by Amsler’s grid.
- Use of antioxidant drugs.
Visudyne therapy and laser does help in sealing
the abnormal vessels.
Magnifying glass or other low visual aid can be
of some assistance.