Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur the central vision of the eyes. It happens when aging causes damage to the macula- the part that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision. It is a common problem but also something worst because it is a leading cause of vision loss for older people. AMD does not cause complete blindness but loosing central vision can make it harder to see faces, read, write, drive or do close-up works like cooking or fixing things. In some people AMD happens very slowly and in some it is very fast.
Dry AMD is happened when the macula gets thinner with age. Dry AMD happens in 3 stages– early, intermediate and late. There’s no treatment for late dry AMD, but there are ways to make the most of the remaining vision. And if one has late dry AMD in only 1 eye, they can take steps to protect their other eye.
Wet AMD happens when abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye and damage the macula. Wet AMD is a less common type of late AMD that usually causes faster vision loss. Any stage of dry AMD can turn into wet AMD, but wet AMD is always late or the last stage. The good news is that treatment options are available for wet AMD.
About 2% of people in their 50s have AMD, and almost a third of people over 75 do.
High blood pressure restricts the amount of oxygen getting into the eyes, which may raise the risk for AMD.
If a person had a stroke, angina (a type of chest pain), or a heart attack, the risk of AMD may be 1.5 times as high as someone who has not had any of these problems. High cholesterol levels may also raise the risk of getting affected.
The risk for AMD could be up to 4 times as much as someone who has never smoked. This is probably because smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that goes to different parts of our body, including our eyes.
Some studies suggest that if a person has a body mass index over 30 it can be more than double the chances of getting AMD, although this is not yet proven.
As of now, there’s no treatment for dry macular degeneration. However, there are many clinical trials in progress. If your condition is diagnosed early, you can take steps to help slow its progression, such as taking vitamin supplements, maintaining healthy diets and quit smoking.