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What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration? Its Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Published on Nov 10, 2022 by kenmaus

AMD, an acronym for Age-related Macular Degeneration, refers to an eye illness, which can even blur the central vision.

This generally occurs when aging affects the macula. The macula is basically the part of an eye that controls straight ahead and sharp vision. It’s a common condition that is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. The health condition doesn’t lead to a complete vision loss, but getting the central vision affected may make it challenging to see the faces, drive, read, or perform other tasks. The illness occurs slowly in some people and may occur faster in others.

Types and Stages of AMD

1. Dry AMD

Dry AMD is considered when the eye’s macula gets thinner with age. It generally occurs in 3 stages
  • Early
  • Intermediate
  • Late
This type generally progresses slowly. And eventually, the later stage has no treatment. However, you can find some ways to protect your remaining vision.

2. Wet AMD

Wet AMD is not as common as the dry one. This type causes faster vision loss. Wet AMD is always the late stage when the abnormal vessels develop in the eye’s back and further damage the macula.

Symptoms of AMD

AMD is a progressive health condition that means that the symptoms of AMD may get worse over time.
  • Early Dry AMD doesn’t lead to any symptoms.
  • In the case of intermediate dry AMD. Several people do not experience any symptoms, while others may experience mild symptoms like trouble seeing.
  • In the case of late AMD, ample people experience straight lines that look crooked or wavy.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Causes of AMD

AMD is more common in older people and is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. This condition has something to do with genes. However, someone in the family having the same health condition leads to a higher risk of involvement in the health condition.

Who is at risk of AMD?

People aged 55 or more are likely to have AMD. However, the people at higher risk who
  • Have a family history of the disease
  • Smoke
  • Are Caucasian

Diagnosing the AMD

The doctor may check for a comprehensive dilated eye examination. This examination is painless and straightforward. However, the doctor may also recommend performing the tests known as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).

Treatment of AMD

The treatment generally depends on the type and stage of the health condition. Presently there are no treatments for the early AMD type so that the doctor may keep track of the eyes with regular examinations. For early symptoms
  • Eating healthy
  • Quitting smoking
  • Getting regular exercises
May help. In the case of intermediate AMD, specific dietary supplements may help to stop the stage from turning into late AMD. However, in case of the wet AMD, the following treatments are recommended to stop further vision loss:
  • Medicines like anti-VEGF
  • Photodynamic Therapy

Final Takeaway!

Scientists are further studying to understand the causes of the illness and ways to treat it better. However, if there is any sort of symptom experienced, make sure to get the medical professional’s advice immediately.

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