AMD is an eye disease that is the leading cause of vision loss in our senior population. This disease impairs central vision. People who are affected by AMD have problems reading, driving and performing activities that require clear central vision. Currently, there are no treatments for the majority of people who are affected.
Macular degeneration causes damage to the macula of the eye. The macula is a small area at the back of the eye that allows us to see fine details clearly. Macular degeneration makes close work like threading a needle or reading a book difficult or impossible. When the macula doesn’t function correctly, we experience blurriness or darkness in the center of our vision. Although macular degeneration reduces vision in the central part of the retina, it does not affect peripheral vision. For example, you could see a clock but not be able to tell what time it is. Macular degeneration alone does not result in total blindness. Most people continue to have some useful vision and are able to live independently.
This is the most common form. In this type of macular degeneration, the delicate tissues of the macula become thinned and slowly lose function.
This is less common, but is typically more damaging. The wet type of macular degeneration is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels behind the macula. The abnormal blood vessels tend to haemorrhage or leak, resulting in the formation of scar tissue if left untreated. In some instances, the dry stage of macular degeneration can turn into the wet stage.
- The loss of the ability to see objects clearly
- Vision that is noticeably distorted
- Straight lines appear wavy
- Objects may appear as the wrong shape or size
- The loss of clear, correct colours
- Difficulty reading
- A dark, empty area in the centre of vision
- The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have age-related macular degeneration.
- Most patients requiring treatment ar seen in dedicated NHS clinics. More information can be found HERE