Age-related macular degeneration (also known as AMD or ARMD) is a condition in which the central area of the vision or the macula deteriorates. This affects the ability for a person to see faces clearly, drive, read, or other visual tasks that require us to see clear details. On examination, the degeneration can be evidenced by the appearance of yellow spots called drusen as pictured to the left. This can progress to larger, coalesced drusen (dry AMD)or possible ruptures in the retina itself which can lead to the growth of new, leaky blood vessels (wet AMD).
Although macular degeneration is associated with aging, newer studies have isolated several genes that make it more likely for you to develop this condition. Excessive UV radiation, tobacco usage, and fair complexions are also important risk factors.
Despite a better understanding of this condition than ever before, there is as of yet no cure for macular degeneration. An important piece of management that is thought to control the condition is oral supplements that contain key elements of good ocular nutrition such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Eating a healthy diet rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants can be helpful as well.
Should you progress to the wet form, injections directly into the eye can cause the leaky blood vessels to recede and inhibit their growth.
Please visit http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amd.htm for a more detailed discussion of this disease.
The information contained on this page is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. If you have concerns, please contact us to schedule an appointment.