Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is a predicament which is related to the retina of the eye. It occurs when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. Generally, if the person is having AMD he loses the central vision of an object. You actually cannot see the fine details whether you are looking for something close or distant. But the peripheral vision still remains normal. For instance, when the person who is suffering from AMD will look at the wall clock you might see the numbers clearly but the hands at the center are not visible.

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration:

1. Dry AMD:

This form of AMD is the most common type, almost 80% of people suffering from AMD have dry form. In Dry AMD the parts of the macula get thinner with age and the tiny yellowish spot of a protein called drusen grows. It is believed that spots are deposits or debris from deteriorating tissues. Then slowly you will lose central vision. There is no known way to treat dry AMD yet. the best way to protect your eyes from developing dry macular degeneration is to eat a healthy diet, exercise and wear sunglasses that protect the eye from harmful rays of the sun.

2. Wet AMD

This form if less common but is much more serious. It happens when abnormal blood vessel grows under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or another type of fluid, which causes scarring of the macula. A person can lose the vision faster with wet AMD that compared to dry AMD.

Most of the people do not realize that they have AMD until they start having very blurry vision. This is the reason it is very important to have a regular visit to the ophthalmologist once every 6 months. as the doctor can look for any early signs of AMD before you have any vision problems.

Who gets AMD?

New studies strongly show that smoking is one of the risk factors for macular degeneration. Other risk factors include having family members with AMD, high blood pressure, and obesity. Some researchers also believe that overexposure to sunlight may also be the contributing factor in the development of this condition. But the theory is not yet proven conclusive. High dietary fat may also be the risk factor for developing AMD.

Commonly named risk factors include the following:

  • Aging
  • Obesity and inactivity
  •  Smoking
  • Side effects of drug