Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a deterioration of the central vision area of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for our fine or detailed vision. Although the exact cause of AMD is not known, it is thought to be an accelerated aging process. The risk of developing macular degeneration increases with age, family history, vascular issues, smoking, and lifetime exposure to UV from the sun. There are two forms of age related macular degeneration, a “wet” type and a “dry” type.
In the wet type, abnormal blood vessels grow in the macular region causing leakage, bleeding, and scarring. Although there is no cure for wet macular degeneration, new treatments have proven to be effective for some in slowing, or stopping, the progression of the disease.
Therapeutic injections, nutritional supplements, protection from ultraviolet radiation, special medications, and laser treatments are all considerations depending on the degree of advancement of the condition. This condition must be closely monitored for possible advancement.
The “dry” type has a better prognosis. On average, this condition is slowly progressive and functional vision is maintained. Although there is no cure for dry macular degeneration, treatment is available. Nutritional supplements, protection from ultraviolet radiation, special medications, and laser treatment are all considerations depending on the degree of advancement of the condition. Careful monitoring is imperative to track possible advancement.