Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a group of conditions which affects the central vision causing blurring. Navigating or peripheral vision is unaffected. The condition generally starts when you get older and by the age of 75, there is about 15% chance you will have some level of macular degeneration. Other risk factors include smoking, family history and poor life diet.
This condition takes many years to develop. What happens is “metabolic debris” (drusen) gets left on the central retina which doesn’t clear up. This causes damage to the photo pigment receptors on the retina which causes central (or seeing) vision to go fuzzy. As a result, reading messages on a phone or subtitles on TV become increasingly difficult.
There is no specific treatment for this condition apart from concentrating on a better diet, including dark greeny vegetables; stop smoking if you are a smoker, and start regular exercises if you do not engage in any exercise. You can also start tablet supplements like AREDS 2 or Macushields Gold, which are proven to reduce the progression of AMD. You can get these from most pharmacists’ and health shops, but we would recommend checking with your pharmacist if it is okay for you to start them based on any current medication you may already be taking.
Unlike Dry AMD, Wet AMD can cause fuzzy vision in one eye within 24 hours. The main symptoms are wavy and distorted lines getting worse during 24-48 hour period and not getting better. Timing is key and the quicker it is seen, the better the treatment can help.
The main cause of Wet AMD is bleeding from behind the retina in the choroidal vessels breaking into the retina causing the bleed.
The main treatment is now eye injections, which stop the bleeding and cause the vessels to shop growing into the retina where they cause damage. Depending on how fast the patient has been seen as well as other factors, the result can be mild improvement to no progression of the vision loss.
If you have any concerns, please call Murray Opticians on 01419446627.