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Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

This is a problem with the retina. It happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD you lose your central vision. Fine details will be difficult to see, both far and near. But the peripheral (side) vision will still be normal. For instance, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD, you might see the clock’s numbers but not the hands.

There are two types: Dry and Wet AMD


Dry AMD

This form is quite common. About 80% (8 out of 10) of people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. Central vision slowly decreases. There is no way to treat dry AMD yet.


Wet AMD

This form is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. Vision is lost faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.

Risk factors- diet high in saturated fat (found in foods like meat, butter, and cheese)

·        obesity/overweight

·        cigarette smoking

·        =50 years of age

·        family history of AMD

·        Caucasian

 

Many people don’t realize they have AMD until their vision is very blurry. This is why it is important to have regular visits to an ophthalmologist. He or she can look for early signs of AMD before you have any vision problems.

Treatment depends on the type, though there is no cure.