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Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

 

“Dry“ Age Related Macular Degeneration. [Dry AMD]

Cells in the macular area die prematurely due to various reasons. Some of the reasons include heredity, extreme exposure to sunlight over many years, cigarette smoking over many years as well as malnutrition. As Dry AMD progresses there is a steady decline in detailed central vision. Over years and this may also be associated with the distortion of straight lines. It never ends with total blindness as the peripheral vision is spared leaving patients with 5% to 10% vision. Treatment is rather ineffective. Preventative treatment with certain vitamins is generally prescribed. Some patients benefit from so-called low vision aids to read large print.

AMD

Normal vision                                               Loss of central vision with macular degeneration


“Wet“ Age Related Macular Degeneration. [Wet AMD]

Visual loss is caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels beneath the macula, so-called choroidal neavascular membrane [CNVM]. When this CNVM leaks under the macula it causes permanent visual loss. Wet AMD or CNVM is generally associated with genetic predisposition.

Treatment currently consists of the injection of anti-VEGF agents [anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor] into the vitreous humor of the eye. These injections must be repeated monthly and can be continued for years. This treatment can lead to total recovery of vision in some cases, but regular   lifelong follow up visits are required.

If Wet AMD is not treated, or if treatment is unsuccessful, Wet and Dry AMD may result in only 5% vision eventually. As with Dry AMD, Wet AMD will never end in total blindness as the peripheral vision is spared.    Some patients benefit from so-called low vision aids to read large print.

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