Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects many people over the age of 50. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the people over 65 years of age throughout the world. When AMD damages the macula (part of the retina), central vision is decreased.

There are two types of AMD, each with a distinct cause. Dry AMD, which makes up about 90% of cases, is caused by abnormal deposits under the macula which leads to cell breakdown. The less common Wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth and breakage in the choroid, which supplies blood to the macula.

Macular Degeneration (AMD) Treatment Overview

View Video

  • Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

    While peripheral and night vision often remain intact, there are several common symptoms of AMD:

    • Blurred vision when looking at items both near and far, especially when trying to see details.
    • Blind spots where there is a dark or ‘blank’ area in the field of vision.
    • Distorted shape where lines and objects look bent or crooked.
    • Changes in color vision or perception.
  • How is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?

    A thorough eye examination by an eye doctor is the best way to determine if you have macular degeneration or if you are at risk for developing the condition. The exam begins by testing your visual acuity or the sharpness of your vision. There are several different tests for visual acuity, the most familiar being the simple letter chart.

    Next, your eyes may be tested with an Amsler grid. This test helps your eye doctor determine if you are experiencing areas of distorted or reduced vision, both common symptoms of macular degeneration. If you have previously been diagnosed with macular degeneration, your doctor will use the Amsler grid to determine if your vision has changed.

    After these visual tests, the front part of your eyes will be examined for health. Your doctor may put anesthetic drops in your eyes before measuring the pressure in each eye. Eye dilation is also common when checking for signs of macular degeneration. Dilation allows your doctor to examine the retina through the enlarged pupil.

  • Treatment Options

    Early and late stage cases of AMD may benefit from high dose regimens of vitamins and minerals to delay the disease’s progress. In cases of wet AMD, treatments include ocular injections and laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels.

    ICON Eyecare’s retina specialist, Dr. Ashley Sturdy, can provide both injections and laser therapy treatments for those with AMD.

  • Preventing Macular Degeneration

    We do not know the precise cause of AMD. Although AMD may occur during middle age, studies show that people over age 60 are at greater risk than other age groups.

    Your lifestyle can play a role in reducing your risk of developing AMD. This includes:

    • Eating a healthy diet high in green, leafy vegetables and fish
    • Not smoking
    • Maintaining blood pressure and weight at normal levels
    • Engaging in regular, moderate exercise
Loading please wait....