Age-Related Macular Degeneration is one of the major reasons which causes loss of eyesight among the older population of the country.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration can happen in 2 ways:
AMD may affect one or both eyes, Even though Age-Related Macular Degeneration is most connected with ageing it is also recently being connected with genetics.
Macular Degeneration is of two types which are as follows:
Non-Neovascular Macular Degeneration are found in 90% of the patients who face AMD. It is considered as the early form of the disease and can be caused due to the following reasons:
Dry Macular Degeneration can be identified when drusen i.e yellowish spots begin to deposit and accumulate in and around the macula. It is said that these spots are debris or the deposits from the deteriorating tissue
Dry Macular degeneration is not as severe as Wet Macular Degeneration but can lead to a loss of central vision loss.
Neovascular macula Degeneration as mentioned above is a cause of not treating the Dry Macula Degeneration and consist of 10% of the total patients who face AMD. It is a chronic eye disease which causes blurred vision and blind spot in your vision.Wet macular degeneration leads to the growth of new blood vessels beneath the retina and also leakage of blood and fluid.The leakages further lead to a damage ( Permanent in nature ) to the light-sensitive cells of the retina, which leads to the death of the cells creating the blind spot where the cells die off.
Choroidal neovascularization ( CNV ), the process which causes Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration and abnormal growth of blood vessels is a body’s misguided way to create a new network of blood vessels to supply more nutrition and oxygen to the retina of the eye which unfortunately leads to creation of scars which sometimes leads to loss of eyesight.
Further Wet Macular Degeneration is divided into two types:
A) Occult: Occult is a process termed when the growth of new blood vessels beneath the retina is not that noticeable and the leakage in the occult CNV is less evident. This type of Wet Macular Degeneration most often produces less severe vision loss.
B) Classic: This type of Wet Macular Degeneration is severe and can easily be diagnosed with the scarring and the growth of blood vessels are very evident and observation of delineated outlines beneath the retina.
Diagnosis of AMD can be done with the following test:
A) Amsler Self Test : One can do a self-test with the help of the Amsler Grid and check if the lines look distorted or wavy or if the areas of the visual fields are missing.
B) Optical Coherence Tomography Macula : This is a common way of diagnosing the AMD in an imaging way with the help of infrared light waves which are used to make cross-section photographs of the choroid layer and retina. Optical Coherence Tomography helps in providing very useful information about the drusen, retinal structure, new blood vessels and haemorrhaging. In this process, the patient is provided with a dialiation drops which are put in the eyes and then is asked to sit in the front of the camera with the chin placed on the chin rest and then gets a complete report after completing the imagining process which takes 15 to 20 minutes.
C) Fundus Flourescin Angiography : In this process, Fluorescein, a yellow dye in nature is injected into the arms of the patient. The patient is then asked to sit in front of the camera which then shows the blood flow and the possible places where leakages have taken place in the retina or choroid. This process takes approx 20 to 30 minutes and required. Saliva and are sometimes dark orange after the process which is the result of body metabolizing the dye.
Treatment for Macular Degeneration depends upon the severity of the disease which can be stated as follows:
A) Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration : Currently, there is no treatment available for the early stage of AMD. Many people show no symptoms of loss of vision. An ophthalmologist may recommend you to undergo an eye examination at least once in a year which will help the doctor to know if the problem is advancing.
The doctor may ask the patient to change the lifestyle to prevent its advancement.
B) Intermediate or Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration : In a case, if doctor derived the stage of AMD in this category, he may recommend the patient to have some intake of vitamins listed below to slow the process of AMD. The following are the list of Vitamins which can be taken on doctors recommendation to slow the process of AMD:
C) Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration : Wet Macular Degeneration also typically results in Vision Loss. The doctor may recommend various therapies to further stop the vision loss. However, it is not possible to cure the vision loss as the damage done by the disease is irreversible and cannot be termed as a permanent treatment. The following are the therapies which can be done to reduce the advancement of the disease: