What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?
Macular Degeneration, also called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is caused when the macula is damaged or becomes deteriorated. The macula is the central part of the retina and is responsible for central vision. When your central vision is damaged, your side (peripheral) vision is normal but you cannot see objects directly in front of you in fine detail.
Types of Macular Degeneration
This is the most common form of AMD, and according to American Academy of Ophthalmology, 8 out of 10 people diagnosed with AMD have dry AMD.
Dry AMD occurs when the macular becomes thinner with age and protein clumps called drusen begin for form. This causes central vision to slowly disappear. There is no treatment for dry AMD, which is why early detection is so important.
This form of AMD is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is developed when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. The macula can become scarred when the abnormal blood vessels leak blood or other fluids. With wet AMD, you will lose your central vision at a much faster rate than with dry AMD.
As with dry AMD, there are no early warning signs and no treatment. Once your central vision becomes blurry, damage has occurred and vision loss can’t be reversed.
Who Is A Risk?
Everyone is at risk for developing AMD, especially:
- Anyone with a family history of AMD
- Anyone over the age of 50
- Anyone with light-colored eyes
- Unhealthy lifestyle factors including smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and are overweight
Currently, there are no treatment options for AMD. Your Alexandria retina specialist can monitor the progression of the disease and recommend lifestyle changes to help preserve your vision. These changes include diet and exercise, quit smoking, and protecting your eyes from ultraviolet lights.
Schedule An Appointment Today
If you have a family history of AMD, or are interested in scheduling an appointment for an eye exam, contact the retina specialists at Louisiana Eye & Laser today.