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Age Related Macular Degeneraion (AMD)

Description of Age Related Macular Degeneraion (AMD)

Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition, usually of older people, which results in a loss of vision in the centre of the visual field (the macula) arising from damage to the retina. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as driving or reading. In some people,AMD advances so slowly that it will have little effect on their vision as they age. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes.AMD occurs in what are commonly known as 'dry' and 'wet' forms. In the 'dry' form, cellular debris accumulates between the retina and the choroids and the retina can become detached. In the 'wet' form which is more severe, blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina and again, the retina can become detached.

Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneraion (AMD)

As its name suggests, Age-related macular degeneration usually occurs amongst older people and like many of the eyed diseases referred to in this booklet, the most common early indicator of AMD is blurred vision. As fewer cells in the macula are able to function, people will see details immediately in front of them less clearly. Often this blurred vision will go away in brighter light. If the loss of these light sensing cells increases, people may see a small but growing blind spot in the middle of their field of vision.Vision loss is typically gradual in the 'dry' form of the disease and occurs faster in the 'wet' form. Other symptoms may include a difficulty in discerning colours (specifically, dark ones from dark ones and light ones from light ones) and slow recovery of visual function following exposure to bright light.

Treatment of Age Related Macular Degeneraion (AMD)

No treatment yet exists for the 'dry' form of AMD. It has been suggested that taking certain extra vitamins and minerals may slow the progress of the disease but this treatment needs much more research before scientists can know for sure if it's helpful. Although the 'wet' from of the disease is more severe, it can, if detected early enough, be treated with laser coagulation and with medication that stops and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels. Adaptive devices can help those with AMD to continue reading and to see objects immediately in front of them. These include magnifying glasses, special eyeglass lenses, desktop and portable electronic devices and computer screen readers.

What the world looks like for a sufferer of Age Related Macular Degeneraion (AMD)

Age Related Macular Degeneraion (AMD)