Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is also known as AMD/ARMD, an abbreviation for age-related macular degeneration. This happens in elders who are above fifty years. This results in loss of visibility in the Macula, the central visual field. Macular degeneration occurs in wet and dry forms and is due to the damage done to the retina the choroid is the network of blood vessels and it provides blood to the retina, which is the network of nerves and visual receptors. The retina lies over the choroid. -In both dry and wet forms the retina detaches from the choroid due to known reasons. It can be exudative (dry) or exudative (wet). In dry form Drusen accumulates in between the retina and the choroid. Druses are the cellular debris. In a case of the wet form, there is an unwanted growth of the blood vessels in the choroid detaching the retina from the choroid. Macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of impaired vision and blindness in people over 50 years of age. It becomes hard to read the faces and recognize them though the patient can do other regular activities as enough vision remains.

Macular Degeneration Drugs

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of macular degeneration, please contact your physician immediately.

  • Pigmentary alterations
  • Drusens
  • Metamorphopsia or the distorted vision marked by a sequence of wavy, straight lines and blank lines on the vision grid.
  • Intraretinal fluid or the hemorrhages marking the Exudative changes
  • Slow recovery of visual processes when coming back from sunlight, also known as Photostress test.
  • Decrease in visual acuity eg. 20/20 to 20/80
  • Missing areas of vision due to central scotomas
  • Straight lines look as if it’s a curve inside the Amsler grid
  • Color discerning problems, finding it hard to differentiate dark ones and light ones

Macular Degeneration Causes

Below are the most commonly cited causes for Macular Degeneration.

  • Aging
  • Genetic factors marked by Macular Degenerative Genes
  • Family background
  • Drusen
  • Cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Fat
  • Oxidative stress
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Race
  • Deficiency of Vitamin D
  • Deletion of complement factor- H related genes like CFHR3 and CFHR1

Macular Degeneration Diagnosis

In order to properly diagnose macular degeneration, physicians use some of the following techniques.

  • Angiography, study of Amsler grid and Sneller charts, as well as fundus photography, are some of the methods used for the diagnosis of macular degeneration.
  • If some straight lines look like wavy with blank patches in Amsler grid, then it’s a clear indication that the patient might have AMD. There should be at least two-line decline in the Snellen chart.
  • The fundus photography can hold finding out the Drusen spots in case of the dry Macular Degeneration. The leakage of the blood stream behind the retina in case of wet AMD can be found through the Angiography.
  • Fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography illumination light microscopy is latest methods of diagnosis.

Macular Degeneration Treatment

It’s important to know that there are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. There is no cure for dry macular degeneration, though there are treatment options to help with the symptoms. Both types of macular degeneration can be treated with surgery.

Treatment of Dry Macular Degeneration:

  • Increased vitamin intake
  • Implantation of a telescopic lens

Treatment of Wet Macular Degeneration:

  • Medications such as Eylea, Lucentis, and Macugen
  • Laser eye surgery