Age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is the most common cause of vision loss in those aged over 50. It causes a gradual loss of central (but not peripheral) vision. Central vision is needed for detailed work and for things like reading and driving. The disease does not lead to complete blindness. Visual loss can occur within months, or over many years, depending on the type and severity of AMD. There are two main types of AMD - 'wet' and 'dry'. 'Wet' AMD is most severe but more treatable. Visual loss caused by AMD cannot normally be reversed.
causes of age-related macular degeneration - In people with AMD the cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) do not work so well with advancing age. They gradually fail to take enough nutrients to the rods and cones, and do not clear waste materials and byproducts made by the rods and cones either. As a result, tiny abnormal deposits called drusen develop under the retina. In time, the retinal pigment cells and their nearby rods and cones degenerate, stop working and die. This is the dry type of AMD.
In other cases, something also triggers new blood vessels to develop from the choroid to cause the wet form of AMD. The trigger is not known. It may be that some waste products which are not cleared from the RPE may stimulate new blood vessels to grow in an attempt to clear the waste.
The exact reason why cells of the RPE stop working properly in people with AMD is not known. Certain risk factors increase the risk of developing AMD. These include:
Possibly, high blood pressure (inconclusive evidence).
A family history of AMD. (AMD is not a straightforward hereditary condition. However, your risk of developing AMD is increased if it occurs in other family members.)
Sunlight. This has yet to be proven, but laboratory studies suggest that the retina is damaged by sunlight rays (UVA and UVB rays).
symptoms of age-related macular degeneration-
The main early symptom is blurring of central vision despite using your usual glasses. In the early stages of the condition you may notice that: You need brighter light to read by.
Words in a book or newspaper may become blurred.
Colours appear less bright.
You have difficulty recognising faces.
One specific early symptom to be aware of is visual distortion. Typically, straight lines appear wavy or crooked. For example, the lines on a piece of graph paper, or the lines between tiles in a bathroom, or the border of any other straight object, etc.
A 'blind spot' then develops in the middle of your visual field. This tends to become larger over time as more and more rods and cones degenerate in the macula.
Visual hallucinations are common in people with severe visual loss of any cause. Visual hallucinations (also called Charles Bonnet syndrome) can occur if you have severe AMD.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Age-related Macular Degeneration
Ayurveda advocates certain practices in order to get rid of macular degeneration. Some of them are:
- -- Ayurveda has recommended certain medicines to be very beneficial in case of macular degeneration. These are Amalaki, Triphala, Tulasi, Spirulina, Punarnava and Shatavari. These herbs are rich source of vitamins and acts as anti-oxidants.
- -- Ayurveda suggests the consumption of yellow vegetables such as carrot that is rich in carotene.
- -- Triphala, an ayurvedic medication is extremely beneficial for eyes.
- -- Rub your eyes for 30 minutes gently in regular interval of time in order to relax them.
- -- Avoid sitting near TV and computer for a longer period of time.