The macula refers to a small spot found in your retina that helps you see the things in front of you clearly, distinguish different colors and appreciate fine details. As you grow older, however, it may deteriorate and lose its function, a condition also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Your eye doctor from AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care answers frequently asked questions about this problem.
Q: Who Is at Risk for AMD?
Increasing age is the primary risk factor of AMD; it mostly affects individuals 50 and older. Those who smoke and have a family history of this condition are more likely of having it later.
Q: What Are the Types of AMD?
Your eye care center shares that AMD is typically classified as either wet or dry. Around 80-90% of reported cases of AMD are considered dry. This occurs when the layers nourishing your macula start to shrink, eventually resulting in their function loss. Their wastes, also referred to as drusen, may accumulate in your eyes, compromising your visual health.
On the other hand, wet AMD involves the growth of blood vessels to compensate for the reduced blood supply to the retina and macula. These new blood vessels, however, are naturally fragile, making them rupture easily. When this happens, blood may seep under your retina, resulting in macula edema. If left untreated, this may lead to vision loss.
Q: What Are the Symptoms?
AMD does not usually present any changes in your vision, especially early on. This is why undergoing regular eye exams is important. As AMD advances, however, you may begin having blurry central eyesight and limited peripheral and night vision. Wet AMD may also cause image distortion and you may see dark spots around objects. Blindness is common too.
Q: How Is It Managed?
There’s no proven cure for AMD yet. There are treatments available, however, that can delay its progression. Studies show that eating foods high in antioxidants, like leafy greens, can help preserve your vision. We may also administer medications to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels of those with wet AMD. Surgeries may help stop blood leaks in your eyes.
If you have any further questions about AMD, you can reach us at (757) 772-0086. You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Virginia Beach and nearby communities.