Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is an acquired retinal degeneration that considerably reduces central vision as a result of drusen and retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities as well as neovascular derangements (choroidal neovascular membrane formation). Serous fluid, subretinal fibrosis, and bleeding behind the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) or beneath the retina may all be symptoms of an advanced illness. Although dietary, environmental, and developmental (i.e., ageing) factors work together to affect the macula’s degeneration, a genetic component is hypothesised given that it is more common in those of European ancestry. Due to freshly implicated biochemical pathways and the lack of effective treatments for the majority of diseases, there is an urgent need for novel medications (i.e., dry ARMD).
AMD Signs and Symptoms
Most patients still have enough vision to read and drive despite the gradual, painless loss of central vision. Scotomas, or central blind patches, typically appear late in the course of the illness and can occasionally be severe. Typically, symptoms are bilateral.
The following alterations are caused by funduscopic changes:
- Retinal pigment epithelium changes
- Areas of chorioretinal atrophy
Wet AMD is more common when vision loss occurs suddenly, typically spanning days to weeks. Visual distortion, such as a central blind spot (scotoma) or curving of straight lines, is frequently the initial symptom (metamorphopsia).
Color and peripheral vision are typically unaffected; nevertheless, if AMD is left untreated, the patient runs the risk of become legally blind (vision of 20/200 or less) in the affected eye. Wet AMD symptoms are frequently unilateral since it typically only affects one eye at a time.
The following alterations are caused by funduscopic changes:
- Localized retinal elevation caused by subretinal fluid
- Retinal swelling
- Discoloration under the macula that is gray-green
- Macula exudates or exudates nearby
- Retinal pigment epithelium separation (visible as an area of retinal elevation)
- Subretinal bleeding in or near the macula.
Do I have an AMD risk?
As you age, your chance of developing AMD rises. AMD is more common in people over the age of 55. A person is also more likely to get AMD if they:
- History of AMD in your family
- Are White Smokers
Regular eye exams are crucial if you have AMD because of your age, family history, or other causes. How frequently should you have eye exams? Ask our best eye doctor in west Delhi. Don’t wait for your eyesight to start changing because early AMD doesn’t have any symptoms!
How may my risk of AMD be reduced?
By making these healthy decisions, research suggests that you may be able to reduce your risk of AMD (or slow vision loss from AMD):
- Don’t start smoking or stop smoking.
- Participate in regular exercise
- Maintain normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Consume nutritious foods like fish and leafy greens.
Diagnosis & Tests
When you see our best eye doctor (at bharti eye foundation) for a standard eye exam and have your eyes dilated, they can screen you for age-related macular degeneration. An early diagnosis will allow you to begin therapy, which could delay certain symptoms or lessen their severity.
Your retina—a layer of tissue at the back of your eye that processes light—will be examined, along with your eyesight and eye pressure. Under the retina, they’ll search for drusen, which are small yellow deposits. It’s a typical early indication of the sickness. Your physician might also ask you to examine an Amsler grid, which is a checkerboard-like pattern made up of straight lines.
Macular degeneration may be indicated if you notice that some of the lines are absent or appear to be wavy.
Tests If our doctor suspects you have age-related macular degeneration, they might recommend one or both of the following tests:
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT). A magnified 3D image of your retina may be seen in this unique photograph. Using this technique, your doctor can determine whether the retinal layers are misaligned. Additionally, whether you underwent laser or injectable therapy, they can determine whether the edema is becoming better or worse.
- Imaging with fluorescein. In this treatment, a dye is injected into a vein in your arm by your doctor.
They capture images as the dye enters your eye and travels through the retina’s blood vessels. Images of the macula, a small region near the center of your retina, will reveal new veins or vessels that are leaking blood or fluid.
Treatment & Prevention
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has no known cure, however, treatment can delay the progression of the condition and prevent serious vision loss. Consult our best eye doctor for advice on how to treat your illness.
Your Available Treatments
- Anti-angiogenic drugs. These drugs are administered intravenously by your doctor. They halt the growth of brand-new blood vessels and stop leakage from aberrant blood vessels that lead to wet macular degeneration.
- Some persons with AMD who use these medications have been able to restore their eyesight. On subsequent appointments, you’ll probably need to have the same treatment again.
- Laser therapy. Our doctor might advise using a powerful laser to treat your AMD, which has been shown to occasionally destroy the actively developing aberrant blood vessels.
- Photodynamic laser therapy: It’s a two-step procedure that damages your abnormal blood vessels with a light-sensitive medication.
- A drug is injected into your bloodstream by your doctor, and the irregular blood vessels in your eye absorb it. After that, a laser is used to activate the medication and harm the abnormal blood vessels.
Low vision aids: You can purchase tools with unique lenses or electrical systems that magnify images of adjacent objects.
- Magnifiers for reading (handheld or electronic)
- Glasses with unique lenses
- Binocular-equipped eyewear
- Electronic spectacles
- Apps for phones Products with large print (phones, clocks, print readers)
Next Steps for Macular Degeneration
Some AMD sufferers might transform from the dry to the wet type.
It’s crucial to keep an eye on your vision if you currently have dry form. Every week, check your vision, focusing on each eye independently. Use an Amsler Grid Chart as directed; it can be displayed on a tablet or computer, or it can be placed on your refrigerator. If something changes, inform your doctor.
Even after treatment, if you have a wet form of macular degeneration, you should test your eyesight to see if any blind spots reappear or grow larger. Months or even years after receiving injections or laser therapy, new blood vessels may start to appear.
If you just have AMD in one eye, your doctor will do routine eye exams in that eye to look for any symptoms of emerging issues.
What are the prospects?
Age-related macular degeneration seldom causes complete blindness in people. Even if you have advanced AMD, you will still be able to see items to the side and out of your field of sight, while having impaired central vision. And many of your regular daily tasks will still be possible for you to complete.
Your central vision could become less than 20/200 in both eyes if you have wet or dry AMD that is severe. You will have peripheral vision, but your vision issues meet the criteria for legal blindness.
You can maintain the majority of your eyesight if you have the dry form of AMD, which is far more prevalent.
Wet AMD can occasionally return even after you receive therapy for it. Follow your doctor’s advice and perform regular vision tests. The appropriate course of treatment can enhance your vision in addition to slowing your vision loss.
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