AGE RELATED MACULA DEGENERATION

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a cause of visual impairment in the elderly.

There are two types of AMD

1. Dry Macular Degeneration. This is the most common type. It develops very slowly and causes gradual reduction in central vision. It may take a long time before it goes to the final stage. Dry AMD does not affect side vision hence it does not lead to total blindness. About 15% of dry AMD develops to wet form of AMD.

2. Wet Macular Degeneration. In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These leak blood and fluid, leading to macula swelling and a rapid drop in vision.

CAUSES

AMD is caused by a problem with a part of the eye called the macula. This is the central part of the retina,the layer inside the eye on which light is focused by the cornea and lens. It is needed for fine visual tasks such as reading, writing, threading a needle, etc. Exactly what triggers the processes that lead to AMD is unclear, but a number of things are known to increase the risk factors of developing it, namely:

1. Age. The older a person gets, the more likely they are to develop at least some degree of AMD.

2. Family history. Cases of AMD have been known to run in families. If your parents or siblings develop AMD, it is thought that your risk of getting it is increased.

3. Smoking. This is a significant risk factor for AMD. In general, people who smoke are up to four times more likely to develop AMD than those who have never smoked.

4. Gender. Women are more likely to develop AMD than men, but this could simply be because women tend to live longer than men.

5. Ethnicity. Studies have found that rates of AMD arehighest in white and Chinese people, and lower inblack people.

6. Other associated conditions. A number of otherfactors that may increase your risk of developing AMD have also been identified, but a link with thecondition has not yet been proven. These includealcohol, sunlight, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

SYMPTOMS

1. Straight lines start to appear distorted, or the centre of vision becomes distorted

2. Dark, blurry areas or white-out appears in the centre of vision

3. Diminished or changed colour perception

4. Deterioration in reading vision

TREATMENT –INTRAVITREAL INJECTIONS

Avastin ,Lucentis or Eylea is injected in the eye to prevent damage to the retinaand blindness when blood vessels around the retina grow abnormally and leak fluid causing the layers of the retina to separate.One usually requires monthly injections. The condition can recur requiring additional injections.