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Macular Degeneration

 

Macular degeneration or age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition causing vision loss in the macula or center of the retina and may lead to blindness. It can be either dry or wet and is usually found in the elderly.

Causes

  • Aging and wearing of macular tissues
  • Pigment accumulation in macula
  • Formation of abnormal blood vessels under macula
  • Macular dystrophy

Symptoms

  • Loss of vision in the center of the visual field
  • Blurred vision
  • Shadows or blind spots
  • Straight lines appearing wavy
  • Difficulty in reading
  • Difficulty in recognizing faces
  • Difficulty in differentiating colors

Treatment
There is no treatment for dry macular degeneration but in case of the wet form, treatment may slow down the vision loss. It includes:

  • Laser treatment to destroy the abnormal blood vessels
  • Photodynamic therapy to slow down vision loss by injecting a light sensitive drug in the arm that travels to the abnormal blood vessels
  • Injections in the eye that control blood vessel growth and bleeding
  • High dose formulation of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper

Prevention
There is no specific prevention for AMD but risk can be reduced by:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Keeping blood pressure under control
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet
Protecting eyes from excessive sunlight