What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and over. Even though it's a painless condition, it will often affect both eyes, with sufferers losing their central vision. This means, when they're looking straight ahead, their vision is blurred, colors are less vibrant, reading is difficult and people's faces become unrecognizable.
This loss of sight generally happens over a period of time, but some may find their eyesight deteriorates quickly. However, because AMD doesn’t affect the peripheral vision (side vision), complete blindness isn’t caused by this eye condition.
Types of AMD- There are two types of AMD – wet and dry:.
Dry AMD - Around 9 out of 10 cases of AMD are dry AMD, and this occurs when a buildup of deposits (drusen) damage cells in the macula. Compared to wet AMD, this is the least serious, because vision loss will happen gradually over a number of years. However, a tenth of all people who have dry AMD will go on to develop wet AMD.
Wet AMD - Often referred to as neovascular AMD, wet AMD develops when cells are damaged underneath the macula due to the growth of abnormal blood vessels. This is more serious than dry AMD, and without treatment, your vision can deteriorate rapidly within a few days.
What Causes Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Even though it’s clear AMD develops as you get older, the exact cause of this eye condition still remains a mystery. Age-related macular degeneration occurs due to problems that arise in the macula, which is located in the centre of your retina. Providing sharp, central vision, the macula is constructed of millions of cells that are sensitive to the light. Therefore, when rays of light coming into your eye are focused here, it allows you to see things that are straight in front of you. The macula plays an important role in detailed, close-up activities, such as writing and reading.
To read more about, what the common symptoms are, how it can be treated and the ways it can be controlled and some frequently asked questions about this condition read Comprehensive Guide to AMD.
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