Age-related macular degeneration (also known as AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among Canadians. It becomes progressively worse over time, causing cumulative permanent vision loss as it goes. Because AMD does not typically present any other symptoms, patients often do not even realise anything is wrong until they have already lost a significant portion of their vision.
By educating yourself on AMD and its effects, you can take an active role in preparing yourself and potentially prevent this devastating disease.
Because AMD is typically asymptomatic, many patients do not realise they have it until they have already suffered permanent eye damage. The only way to catch and treat AMD early is by having a regular eye health exam.
A good portion of the inside of your eyeball is covered with a system of tissues called the retina. The small middle area of the retina is called the macula. The ultra light-sensitive cells in the macula are responsible for your central vision and the details you see every day, like someone’s facial features.
AMD occurs when the macula sustains damage, causing dark spots or shadows in the central vision. There are two types or forms of AMD.
As you age, tiny fatty deposits called drusen can start to collect in your eye. If too many drusen collect around the macula, it can result in degeneration of macular tissue. Dry form AMD is much more common than its counterpart, but it is also far less severe.
Sometimes, the blood vessels in and around the retina can become damaged with age. The human body tries to fix this problem by growing new blood vessels. However, these new blood vessels are often irregular and weak, resulting in bleeding and scarring. This scarring can cause the macular tissue to become severely damaged. Wet form AMD is not common; however, it is very severe and requires treatment to prevent or delay further vision loss.
There are a number of treatments available to slow the progression of AMD. Some doctors prescribe laser therapy treatments, while others prefer drug injections. There are also methods that combine drug injections with the use of laser therapy.
Today’s most commonly used treatment is a drug injected into the eye to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels. If you are diagnosed with AMD, Airdrie Family Eye Doctors will carefully discuss all of your treatment options with you.
Studies show that eating a diet rich in specific nutrients can help you ward off AMD. Research suggests that vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E, zinc, and copper could all be useful in AMD prevention.
Airdrie Family Eye Doctors are located on main street south of the Tower Lane Mall Safeway. Come “see” us today! Or, feel free to call our clinic phone number.
705 Main St S, Suite 150
Airdrie, AB T4B 3M2