Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Category: Diseases of eyes
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye condition that affects the macula, the central part of the retina that is responsible for sharp, detailed vision. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60, and it can significantly impact an individual's quality of life.
AMD is caused by the degeneration of the cells in the macula, which can lead to the formation of drusen, small yellow deposits that build up under the retina. As AMD progresses, it can cause the macula to thin and atrophy, leading to the loss of central vision.
There are two types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD is the most common form, accounting for approximately 80% of cases. It is characterized by the formation of drusen and the thinning of the macula, which can lead to blurred or distorted vision. In some cases, dry AMD can progress to the more severe form, wet AMD.
Wet AMD is less common but more severe than dry AMD. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, leaking fluid and blood into the retina and causing scarring and permanent vision loss. Wet AMD is more likely to cause rapid and severe vision loss than dry AMD.
Symptoms of AMD can include blurred or distorted vision, difficulty reading or recognizing faces, and dark or empty areas in the central vision. There is no cure for AMD, but there are several treatments that can help manage the condition and slow its progression.
Treatment for dry AMD may include lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking, as well as taking supplements such as vitamins C and E, zinc, and copper. For wet AMD, treatments such as anti-VEGF injections or photodynamic therapy may be recommended to help prevent the growth of abnormal blood vessels and reduce the risk of vision loss.
In conclusion, age-related macular degeneration is a progressive eye condition that can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. If you experience symptoms of AMD, it is important to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam and to develop a personalized treatment plan. With early detection, appropriate treatment, and lifestyle changes, individuals with AMD can manage their condition and preserve their vision for as long as possible.