Age-related macular degeneration is a painless eye disease that gradually destroys sharp, clear, central vision, typically in adult patients over the age of 50 years. It is the leading cause of loss of vision in this age group. Macula is the part of the eye that allows you to have central vision which gives the ability to read and see fine detail. Age-related macular degeneration, therefore leads to loss of central vision.
Dry Macular Degeneration and Wet Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration may advance slowly over many months or years. This is typically dry macular degeneration. Dry AMD occurs when small particles called drusen become deposited behind retina, and retina and the layer behind it become thin. The light-sensitive cells of the macula then start to lose function leading to distortion and blurred vision in the middle of the affected eye. This is by far the more common of two types of eye macular degeneration. On the other hand, the disease may progress rapidly and lead to a loss of vision over a few days or weeks and typically occurs in wet macular degeneration. Wet AMD develops when new abnormal blood vessels which can leak fluid and blood in and around the center of the vision, and, hence the name.
Are you at risk for AMD?
Age is the greatest risk factor. Other known or suspected risk factors are:
Family History (your risk is higher if a family member has had it)
Race (Caucasians more likely to lose vision than African Americans)
High Blood Pressure
Symptoms of AMD
The most common symptoms of AMD are:
Distortion (Straight lines looked distorted)
Gray or dark spot near the center of the vision
Treatment for AMD
If the above symptoms occur, please seek treatment immediately with a retina specialist like Dr. Peddada. The treatment for wet AMD is periodic injections of medicines in the eye. Treatment for dry AMD is to minimize its rate of progression by taking specially compounded mixture of vitamins and supplements marketed in pharmacies with the label “AREDS 2” (Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2).
Contact our Opelika and Dothan Offices at (334) 521-0041 or our Columbus Office at (706) 221-9702 for a comprehensive evaluation and management of your retinal needs, including macular degeneration treatment.