What is macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition seen in people over 50 years of age. It causes distortion or loss of central vision – the part of your vision you need for activities like reading and driving. Risk factors for AMD include increasing age, smoking and a family history.
There are two types of AMD with one called ‘dry’ and the other ‘wet’. Dry AMD is the most common (about 80-90%) and is caused by ‘wear and tear’ changes at the macula. Dry AMD develops very slowly leading to a gradual change in vision. ‘Wet’ AMD occurs more rapidly and is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing at the macula.
There is currently no treatment available to restore vision lost as a result of dry AMD. However, nutritional supplementation, dietary and lifestyle modifications and careful monitoring with an Amsler Grid may help to prevent vision loss. There are several options available to treat vision loss from wet AMD but it is important to seek help quickly for treatment to be effective.