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Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

26 September, 2020 Prashasti Jauhari
AMD is the age-related Macular Degeneration. It is an eye disorder that worsens over time. It is the main cause of permanent vision loss in elderly people who are at least above the age of 60. 
AMD occurs with age, thus the name ‘age-related macular degeneration’ and can cause major vision problems but it does not always result in complete blindness.

It occurs when the macula, a small central portion of the retina wears out. 

Types of Age-related Macular Degeneration (Amd)

​Dry form of AMD 

People who have a dry form of AMD have yellow deposits in their macula called 'drusen'.
A few small 'drusen' does not interfere with your vision but as they grow bigger, it can distort your vision and can cause trouble reading.
As the size of 'drusen' increases, it can cause severe vision issues as the light-sensitive cells in the macula to grow weaker and eventually die.
In the worst case, you can lose central vision completely.
The dry form of AMD is the most common macular degeneration that people get but it can lead to the wet form. Not many people develop the wet form.

​Wet form of AMD

Blood vessels grow underneath your macula. When a person has the wet form of AMD, these blood vessels leak and fluid into your retina.
This form of AMD distorts the vision in such a way that straight lines start looking wavy.
The bleeding of blood vessels can cause a scar and a person may eventually lose central vision permanently.

Symptoms of Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMD

Reduced central vision is one of the symptoms of AMD.

It is extremely difficult to figure out early signs of dry form of Macular degeneration and probably goes undetected until it gets worse and affects both the eyes.

Wet form of Macular degeneration occurs more rapidly as compared to the dry form of Macular degeneration. 
Some common symptoms of AMD are –
  • Difficulty in recognizing faces.
  • Decreased central vision in either one or both the eyes.
  • Visual distortions like straight lines seeming to be bent.
  • Difficulty in reading in dim light.
  • Increased blurriness of printed words.
  • The deceased intensity of colors.
  • Ability to see fine details clearly.
  • A blind spot in the field of your vision.
  • A haziness in your vision.
  • Changes in your central vision
If you develop any of the above symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Causes of Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD

The main cause of Age-related Macular degeneration is aging. It occurs in people above the age of 60. A family history of AMD increases the odds of developing this disorder as you grow. AMD is more common in women.

Other factors that can contribute to increasing the odds of developing AMD
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Consuming a high amount of saturated fats
  • Having a light eye color
  • Being light-skinned

Treatment for Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMD

There is no cure for AMD. Treatment focuses on slowing down the onset of the AMD and make it less severe.
  • Anti-angiogenesis drugs

Certain medications like bevacizumab (Avastin), aflibercept (Eylea), pegaptanib (Macugen), and ranibizumab (Lucentis) can help control the leaking of blood in the retina in the wet form of macular degeneration and might even help in regaining the lost vision.

You can buy prescription medicine online and get it delivered to your home.

  • Laser therapy
Laser therapy can help destroy the abnormal blood vessels in the eye.
  • Photodynamic laser therapy
In this therapy, the doctor injects a light-sensitive drug called verteporfin (Visudyne) in the bloodstream and the abnormal blood vessels absorb it. The doctor shines a laser on the eye and triggers the drug which then, destroys the abnormal blood vessels.
  • Low vision aids

Special lens or electronic systems can be used to create a larger image of nearby things. This does not help get the vision back but make the most of what is left.

Consult your doctor on when and how to consume these supplements. You can buy these supplements from the top online pharmacy in India

Researchers have been studying other treatment methods for AMD like Sub-macular surgery and Retinal translocation. 

You can’t prevent age-related macular degeneration. Studies have shown that taking supplements of Zinc, Copper, Vitamins C, Vitamin E, Lutein and Zeaxanthin can decrease the rate at which dry form of AMD affects an individual.