Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. Contrary to common perception, it is not a “film” on the surface of the eye, although it certainly can cause vision to appear filmy. Cataracts are an inevitable consequence of aging – if you live long enough you’ll get a cataract. Some general health conditions (like diabetes) and medications (like steroids) can cause cataracts; ultraviolet radiation has long been considered a cause of cataract formation.

There are two types of AMD – dry and wet. In dry AMD the central part of the retina becomes thin or distorted and is the most common, progresses slowing and almost unnoticeably. In wet AMD abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, when left untreated it can develop quickly and cause severe vision loss.

How is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?

Macular Degeneration can develop both slowly or quickly and can occur gradually over a few years. A person’s side (peripheral) vision will likely remain normal but it will be difficult to see up close or at a distance. While distinguishing colours may be hard, lines may seem distorted or wavy

There are two types of AMD – dry and wet. In dry AMD the central part of the retina becomes thin or distorted and is the most common, progresses slowing and almost unnoticeably. In wet AMD abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, when left untreated it can develop quickly and cause severe vision loss.

Only an eye care professional can diagnose AMD. If your central vision becomes distorted or blurred, see your eye care professional immediately. PHP is used to detect very subtle distortion in early AMD.

How is Macular Degeneration Treated?

At this time there is no cure for dry AMD. Taking a combination of vitamins may assist in delaying additional visual loss or slowing it down.

Early detection is critical in successfully treating wet AMD. Laser therapy and photodynamic therapy (a newer effective form) are often used to treat people with wet ADM. Medical intervention for the treatment of wet AMD is possible. Many patients suffering from sight loss may benefit from low vision aids.

Link to OCT – Macular Degeneration