Aged- Related Macular Degeneration?
Aged – Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye condition which mostly affects people who are over 50 and is the most common cause of sight loss in the western world (1, 2). About 15 million Americans and millions more around the world are affected by aged related macular degeneration (3). In the UK more than 500,000 people have AMD and about 250,000 people are registered as visually impaired (2). About 30% of people who are over 70 have early sign of AMD and 7% have more advanced AMD. (1).
The macula is a small area in the centre of the retina of the eye which helps to see straight ahead for seeing fine details and see colours (4). A layer of tissue on the retina called the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) keeps the macula healthy by transporting nutrients from the blood vessels to the macula and moving waste products from the macula to the blood vessels. AMD is a painless condition when people get older the RPE can thin and do not move nutrients and waste back and forth as efficiently. Waste builds up in the macula, and cells in the macula become damaged from lack of blood which affects the vision. (5)
People with macular degeneration gradually lose their central vision. They find it harder to see things that are directly in front of them. Also making it much harder for them to read, writes, and recognizes faces, due to Metamorphopsia and Scotoma and they are explained more below in the picture.
* Metamorphopsia - Straight lines start to appear distorted, or the centre of vision becomes distorted
* Scotoma - Dark, blurry areas appear in the centre of vision, like a smudge on glasses.
* Blurred vision when reading or writing. Also words might disappear.
There are two types of macular degeneration, dry and wet as shown in the pictures. Dry macular degeneration is more common and is characterized by the thinning of the retina and druses, small white deposits that...