What is AMD?
You lose your center vision when you have AMD. So whether you’re looking at anything up close or far away, you can’t see minute details. However, your peripheral vision (side vision) will remain normal.
Consider the following scenario: you’re looking at a clock with hands. You can see the numbers on the clock but not the hands with AMD. AMD is a relatively frequent condition. It is the most common cause of vision loss in adults aged 50 and up.
The macula collects high-resolution images from the center of the field of vision and sends them to the brain via the optic nerve, where they are translated into sight. However, these images are really not received correctly if cells in the macula begin to degrade, and the transferred information to the brain is similarly inaccurate.
What are the types of AMD?
Macular degeneration is divided into two types:
- Dry macular degeneration
- Wet macular degeneration
Dry macular degeneration
This is a rather common kind. The dry form of AMD affects about 80% of persons (8 out of ten). When sections of the macula thin out and little clumps of a protein called drusen form, this is known as dry AMD. You gradually lose your core vision. There is, at the moment, no treatment for dry AMD.
Wet macular degeneration
This type is less prevalent, but it is far more dangerous. When new, aberrant blood vessels form behind the retina, this is known as wet AMD. These arteries may leak blood or other fluids, resulting in macula scarring. Wet AMD causes visual loss more quickly than dry AMD.
What is the cause of AMD?
Macular degeneration does not have any major symptoms in its early stages. During a comprehensive ophthalmological examination, however, it can still be detected. Small yellow deposits (drusen) form in the layer of cells right beneath the retina, indicating areas of degeneration.
Drusen are few in number, tiny, and lack considerable pigmentation in the early stages. There is usually no eyesight loss in the patient. The drusen have multiplied, grown larger, become more deeply pigmented, and maybe cause minor visual impairments such as wavy or blurred vision in the intermediate stage. Advanced AMD can cause central vision loss that ranges from partial to complete.
Who is at risk for AMD?
If you do any of the following, you’re more likely to develop AMD:
- accustomed to smoking cigarettes
- are over the age of 50
- consume a high-saturated-fat diet (found in foods like meat, butter, and cheese)
- suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure)
- are obese
- have a history of AMD in your family
Heart disease, as well as excessive cholesterol levels, are also risk factors for AMD. Caucasians (white people) are likewise more likely to develop AMD.
Is early detection for AMD possible?
Macular degeneration is the major cause of vision loss in people 60 and older in the United States, and advanced age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness and irreversible blindness worldwide.
Because early stages of AMD rarely elicit symptoms, waiting until vision abnormalities develop to undergo an eye exam can raise the chance of AMD progressing to the point of irreversible vision loss.