What is MACULAR DEGENERATION?
Unlike Glaucoma where peripheral vision is affected, MACULAR DEGENERATION (MD) OR AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD) affects the central vision of the eye. The macula is the 3-5mm area in the retina that is responsible for the central vision. Blurring of words on a page, difficulty recognizing features on a face, dark areas in the center of vision, and/or distortion of straight lines are some of the effects of this type of eye disease.
As the names suggests, it usually occurs as part of the ageing process. Aside from its natural cause, hypertension, smoking and exposure to UV rays are just some of the possible factors of AMD.
There are two types of AMD - Dry AMD and Wet AMD.
The Dry AMD, which is the most common form, is caused by aging and thinning of macular tissues.
WET AMD is caused when abnormal blood vessels forming underneath the retina. These vessels leak blood and or fluid and blur the central vision. Vision loss may be rapid and severe.
In the Philippines, as well as in Asia, a variant of AMD called Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy (PCV), is more common.
Your Eye Doctor will prescribe vitamins to help prevent further damage. Nutritionally, you should eat more fruits, vegetables and fish, and cut back on intake of red meat. Smoking also needs to be stopped.
There are treatments that can help like anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) injections. It is an antibody which inhibits leakage and growth of new vessels. There are three variansts eg Lucentis, Eylea, or Avastin. Our Retina doctors will help you decide on which is best for your eye. Multiple injections may be needed, and our Retina Specialists will help formulate a treatment plan appropriate for your condition. An OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) will most likely be requested, which would help in diagnosis, as well as in monitoring your progress. Fluorescein and/or Indocyanine Green Angiography may sometimes be required to help diagnose the condition.
BEST TO CONSULT WITH: Retina Specialist