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Age-related macular degeneration

What is Age-related Macular Degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is a common visual condition which involves damage to the macula, which affects the central vision.

The macula is a very small but important part of the eye. It is located at the centre of the retina and is responsible for seeing fine details clearly. Macular degeneration can make it difficult to see in many everyday situations from recognising faces to driving and reading.

Age-related macular degeneration typically affects people aged 50 or over.

Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration

Macular degeneration can occur in one or both eyes. It affects your central vision. It does not cause pain and does not affect the appearance of the eye. The earliest symptoms include distorted or blurred areas of vision. People with AMD often struggle to see things in the middle part of their vision and cannot see fine details either at a distance or close-up.

Other symptoms can include straight lines appearing wavy, colours seeming less bright and objects appearing smaller than they are.

Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon

Types of age-related macular degeneration

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration.

The most common form is known as early or dry macular degeneration. This is caused by the retina thinning at the macular and also a build-up of waste materials under the macular area. Dry macular degeneration is a slow and less severe type of the condition, many patients maintain near normal vision.

The other type is known as wet macular degeneration. This unfortunately progresses quickly and can reach the vision-threatening later levels of the condition at speed. Wet AMD happens when abnormal blood vessels grow below the retina and begin to leak, limiting the function of the retina. Severe and permanent loss of the central vision is possible due to this bleeding. However, most patients maintain some sight as the periphery vision is not affected.

Treatment options for AMD

Your consultant will discuss the best treatment plan for age-related macular degeneration. Wet AMD can be treated effectively using intravitreal injections.

Get in touch to discuss your condition and how we can help.

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