Eyes structure is a complex one and most people don’t know in details how our vision is formed. First, we will start with the name age-related macular degeneration has its own abbreviation – AMD, so both terms mean one and the same. No matter if you suffer from this condition or some of your close people, keep reading and we will answer to your questions simple and short.
What is age-related macular degeneration and what causes it?
The condition could cause blindness in people who are older than 55 years. In details, macular degeneration means exactly how it sounds – degenerate macula. The is an area in the macula which is responsible for our central vision – we see objects in front of us. This condition affects only this area.
Age-related macular degeneration doesn’t have strong conditions sometimes it affects one of the eyes sometimes it affects both. Some people develop the condition for a few years, some people have it for years without suffering from a significant vision loss. People who have the bad luck to meet this diagnosis know that they can’t see things clearly in front of them. If they look aside, they will notice the object with their peripheral vision. The blurred vision is not something people get used to, so they usually look for good treatments to get rid of it. In addition, if macular degeneration develops sustainably it might transform into a white spot. However, before we jump to age-related macular degeneration first we will dig into reasons.
The macula is situated in the retina and it has a million cells, which are light sensitive. The function of the eye has a simple explanation and the macula takes a big part in it. We receive light and the eyes transform it into electrical signals. These electrical signals eventually reach the brain, and we realize what we have seen or not seen an object.
Some people are predisposed to AMD more than others are. Those people usually smoke every day, they are from the Caucasian race and own family history with this health condition. However, even if you are in this group, you won’t have macular degeneration before your 50s or 60s. Some scientists, including ophthalmologists in Asiaretina, claim that nutrition might also be important when it comes to prevention so it is not worth ignoring healthy lifestyle. If you focus on a healthy life, this doesn’t mean that the health condition won’t be so deep in our genes and will appear one day. Unfortunately, there are no tests to show if you are going to have it when you get older. Regular eye examination still might make a difference because your eye doctor will see it in the first stage.
What are age-related macular degeneration stages?
- The first stage is Early macular degeneration – your eye doctor will notice that you have medium-sized drusen but you will have your vision intact;
- The second stage is intermediate macular degeneration – The same drusen become larger and there are noticeable pigment changes. The patient doesn’t have vision troubles and only his ophthalmologist will see these changes in his retina’s structure;
- The third stage is the final one where the macula is already damaged. There are two types – dry AMD and wet AMD. In the dry one, light-sensitive cells are damaged, in the wet AMD – blood vessels grow below the retina and bleed. There are cases where people have both AMD conditions in one eye.
What is the best age-related macular degeneration treatment?
In the early stage, the patient has no other options than weight to get worse and try to live healthy to reduce the development of the health conditions. In the middle stage, some ophthalmologists prescribe nutritional supplements, vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you have AMD in the final stage then age-related macular degeneration treatments, like AsiaRetina offers, are way more serious. One of them is to have an injection with a substance that stops VEGF protein growing. This protein is responsible for blood vessels growing and bleeding. Unfortunately, one injection is not enough and you will have to receive antibiotics along with injections.
The second treatment is Photodynamic therapy where your ophthalmologist will inject you a substance that will reach the blood vessels and close them. The substance is actually a drug – verteporfin. A laser beam will stimulate the drug to close the blood vessels.
The last treatment is a laser treatment with a cold laser. The ophthalmologist will target excessive blood vessels and will destroy them. Unfortunately, this method might reach some other retina’s areas and blind spots might occur where laser beam touched. But this method manages to prevent more serious damages and people are able to save their vision at least partly.