Your retina has a small spot near its center, referred to as the macula, that helps you see the objects in front of you. Over time, it may become damaged, causing it to gradually lose its functions, resulting in a condition known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Guilford Eye Center, your trusted provider of high-quality eyeglasses, answers your top questions about this disease.
Q: What Factors Contribute to AMD Development?
AMD is most often detected in individuals who are 50 years old and older, making age a major risk factor for this condition. Genetics is another factor that may contribute to its development. If you have any relatives who have this problem, you’re at a higher risk of acquiring it later on in life. Those who smoke are also up to four times more likely of having this problem.
Q: How Is AMD Classified?
AMD may be either dry or wet. Your eye doctor explains that thinning of the macular tissues, which supply the retina with blood, is the biggest cause of AMD. Debris from the deteriorating macular tissues, also referred to as drusen, may start accumulating around the macula, appearing as yellowish spots.
Dry AMD can progress into the wet type later on. With the limited nutrient and oxygen delivery, your eyes often compensate by growing new blood vessels. However, the naturally fragile structure of blood vessels causes them to easily rupture. As a result, blood may seep under your retina, eventually causing your macula to swell. Without prompt treatment, this may lead to your loss of vision.
Q: What Are the Symptoms?
You may not notice any problems in your vision, particularly during AMD’s early stage. As the condition advances, however, you may begin experiencing blurry or distorted vision. Your sensitivity to light changes and ability to judge distances may also be impaired. Blindness is common as well, especially for wet AMD.
Q: How Is It Managed?
While AMD has no proven cure, there are ways to delay its progression and save your eyesight. You can start by staying healthy. Undergoing an eye exam regularly can also help in the disease’s early detection and management, giving us better chances to save your eyesight. For those with wet AMD, we may inject medication to stop the abnormal blood vessel growth.
Call us today at (336) 387-6777, or complete our form to schedule an appointment and learn more about AMD. We see patients from Greensboro and nearby North Carolina areas.