Age Related Macular Degeneration
Age Related Macular Degeneration
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment in the United States for people over age 65, affecting some 19 million people and a leading cause of blindness in our senior population. There are two types of AMD, Dry AMD & Wet AMD.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration is the most common type of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and makes up approximately 85-90% of cases of macular degeneration. If you have Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration, during the examination of your retina your eye doctor will see small, yellow deposits between the retinal layers, which are called drusen.
Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration results in a slow, gradual, progressive “dimming” of your central vision. Geographic Atrophy (GA) is an advanced form of Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration that leads to progressive and irreversible vision loss.
A person with early AMD may notice problems with reading or night vision and, if the disease progresses to advanced stages, permanent blind spots (scotomas) in the center of the visual field will develop.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet Macular Degeneration accounts for about 10-15% of cases of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), but is far more likely to cause serious vision loss than Dry Macular Degeneration. Wet macular degeneration is characterized by an abnormal growth of new blood vessels under the retina called “neovascularization” which are unusually weak, fragile blood vessels that are prone to be leaky and can easily break and bleed, causing a sudden, rapid and severe loss of central vision, which is irreversible.
AMD Risk Factors (AMD)
Anyone over the age of 50, and especially seniors, should take a moment to learn about risk factors for age related macular degeneration (AMD). YOU can make a difference in preserving your vision by knowing your risk factors, being aware of your family history, and scheduling regular eye exam appointments. As with many age related eye problems, the key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.
Top AMD Risks You Should Know
- Being over the Age of 60
- Having a Family History of AMD
- Cigarette Smoking
- Hypertension & Cardiovascular Disease
If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and evaluation. We may recommend certain lifestyle choices and preventative measures to help you manage the risks and hopefully reduce your risk of vision loss.
Treatment of Macular Degeneration
Seniors and others at risk for AMD should be aware and relieved that we have made significant advances in treatment using retina injections provided by our Retina Specialist, such as Lucentis®, Eylea®, Vabysmo® & Susvimo™ Retina Injections for treatment of Wet AMD, and SYFOVRE™ and IZERVAY™ Injections for treatment of Geographic Atrophy (GA), an advanced form of Dry AMD.
These injections can often slow the progression of the disease preserve vision that was thought to be lost for many patients. Therefore, in most cases, AMD is not an automatic path to blindness or even vision loss among seniors-if you are aware of risk factors and proactive in getting regular eye exams. Early detection and treatment are the key to preventing vision loss from AMD. Knowing more about age related macular degeneration and how to prevent vision loss from AMD is important in helping patents-particularly those over 50, and especially seniors, maintain their eye health and vision.
Diet & Vitamins for AMD
Numerous studies, including the Age Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS) have strongly suggested that nutrition may play a role in the likelihood of developing macular degeneration. It appears that people who have a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, have a considerably lower incidence of macular degeneration. It also appears that certain select vitamin or antioxidant supplements may affect the progression and reduce the risk of AMD. People who are at high risk for developing advanced AMD should consider taking the combination of nutrients used in the AREDS study. When you have your regular eye exam at D’Ambrosio Eye Care we will tell you if you have signs of AMD and are at risk for developing the advanced form of the disease and recommend vitamins and supplements if needed. BEFORE patients begin taking any course of vitamin or antioxidant supplements, we will fully discuss the risks and benefits, and if necessary, will determine in consultation with your family physician or Internist, whether this is safe and effective for you.