Age-related macular degeneration, often referred to as AMD, is a medical condition that usually affects older adults. This vision-stealing disease is the result of degeneration to the macula. It results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of the damage to the retina. It occurs in dry and wet forms and is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults over the age of 50.
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is damage or deterioration of the central area of the retina. The macula allows us to read and see fine details. When it fails to work properly, vision becomes blurry. Reading the newspaper or threading a needle may become difficult or impossible. Macular degeneration is brought on by aging, smoking and sometimes heredity.
What treatment is available?
There are two types of macular degeneration: dry (non-neovascular) and wet (neovascular).
The dry form is more common and progresses slowly . There is no surgical treatment for it, though some patients may benefit from vitamin therapy. The condition can’t be cured or reversed, but most patients retain useful vision with the help of vision aids.
People with wet macular degeneration generally notice more rapid and severe changes in their vision. It is caused by abnormal blood vessels at the back of the eye which leak fluid or blood, creating permanent tissue damage. Dr. Daynes may use laser surgery or medications to stop the bleeding and to prevent further retinal damage.