Look out for symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
It is common for most symptoms of AMD to be overlooked during its initial stages. However, these symptoms will grow to become more severe as the disease progresses.
Reduced central vision is a primary symptom of AMD, and the condition also has other negative consequences that include:
- A distortion of straight lines within one’s field of vision
- The need for brighter lighting
- Difficulty adapting to low lights
- Worsened colour perception
Identifying types & stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is able to manifest in two different types: wet AMD and dry AMD. The former is associated with an increased rate of visual deterioration, while the latter tends to progress more gradually.
Wet AMD occurs when the macula scars as a result of leaked fluids or blood from abnormal blood vessels located under the retina. This causes a loss of central vision that causes your sight to become blurry, presenting a sign of an AMD condition.
Conversely, dry AMD happens as a consequence of the macula growing thinner as we age. This allows yellow protein deposits known as drusen to accumulate on the macula that results in reduced central vision.
Furthermore, AMD can be further classified into three stages: early, intermediate, and late. Dry AMD occurs throughout all three stages of AMD, while wet AMD solely appears at the later stages.
Diagnosing Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and potential risk factors
There are several health factors that are linked with an increased risk of developing AMD, such as being overweight or having an unhealthy diet. Here is a list of some risk factors associated with AMD:
- Habitual smoking of cigarettes
- Being 50 years of age or older
- Eating a diet high in saturated fat
- Having high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Having a family history of AMD
- Increased risk of heart diseases
An ophthalmologist will often recommend that a patient undergo an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) when signs of AMD manifest themselves. This procedure allows ophthalmologists to observe detailed photographs of the internals of one’s eye and pinpoint the nature and scope of the damage on the macula. Doctors would hence be able to determine both the type and severity of the condition.
Alternatively, AMD can also be diagnosed via a regular eye screening, which is a pain-free process. During this procedure, ophthalmologists examine a patient’s eyes for signs of AMD after the administration of eye drops that dilate the pupil.
Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
At this current point in time, there is no known cure for AMD. However, there are many treatments developed to help manage the progression of the condition and mitigate its effects on their vision. At Eyecentric in Park City Medical Centre (PMC), there are many strong treatment options for AMD under Eyecentric, such as:
- Laser therapy, where an energy laser is used to remove any abnormal growths of blood vessels located under the retina.
- Low vision aids that create larger and clearer images of things that are nearby through the use of medical technology such as electronic systems or special lenses.
- Anti-angiogenesis drugs which help block both fluid and blood leakages from the blood vessels. These medications include ranibizumab (Lucentis), bevacizumab (Avastin), and aflibercept (Eylea).
- Submacular surgery that directly eliminates abnormal blood vessels.
Our team of ophthalmology specialists have years of experience to treat your eye condition. Make an appointment with BTMC and take the right steps to preserve your vision.