AMD

WHAT IS AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION? 

A condition which causes deterioration of the central vision. AMD usually affects 1 in 10 people over 65. It causes changes to the eyes macula, the part of the eye responsible for capturing sharp, central vision. The exact cause is unknown but age tends to be a big factor. AMD can be broken down into 2 types, dry AMD and wet AMD.

Changes that occur at the macular gradually over years is normally the dry type. Changes that develop quickly within weeks to months is normally the wet type. 

Symptoms Mild AMD changes may cause blurred or smudged central vision, and difficulty reading. When advanced, tasks like writing, reading and recognising faces can become very difficult. Straight lines may appear distorted or wavy. AMD will not cause total blindness as it does not affect the peripheral portion of your vision. The condition progresses to varying degrees and not everyone will develop sight loss with AMD.

Risk factors include age, smoking, having a family history of AMD, being overweight and high blood pressure. Ultraviolet light possibly increases risk.

Prevention includes a diet which includes green, leafy vegetables with focus on kale and spinach. Avoid saturated fats. Don’t smoke and exercise regularly. Get ultraviolet light protection when exposed.

Recent studies (AREDS and AREDS2) indicate a daily supplement containing vitamin C (500mg), lutein(10mg), zeaxanthin (2mg), zinc (25mg) and copper (2mg) can help prevent progression of the condition. For more information see our supplements page.

Currently, there is no treatment for dry macular degeneration although stem cell replacement may be possible in the future. Eye injections are effectively used to combat wet macular degeneration.

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