Macular degeneration is a common condition that affects over 10 million people in America. The largest number of people with the condition are older people. It is why this condition is also called age-related macular condition or AMD. It usually affects your central vision and makes it difficult to do detailed work.
Age-related macular degeneration affects the retina's central portion, known as the macula. The macula is responsible for our ability to see fine details, such as reading and recognizing faces. As you age, the macula can deteriorate, leading to vision loss and blindness.
AMD is a progressive eye condition that affects the macula. The retina's central portion is the macula responsible for fine vision and color perception. AMD typically affects people over 60 and is the leading cause of blindness among older adults. There are two main types of AMD: atrophic or dry and exudative or wet.
In atrophic AMD, the macula thins out and deteriorates over time, leading to a gradual loss of central vision. This type of AMD is caused by the accumulation of waste materials called drusen in the macula. As the drusen build-up, they damage the cells in the macula and cause them to die. Atrophic AMD has no cure, but treatment options can slow the disease and preserve the remaining vision.
Exudative AMD, also known as neovascular or wet AMD, is a more severe and less common form of AMD. It arises when new blood vessels form under the retina and leak blood and fluid, causing scarring and rapid vision loss.
In exudative or wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula and can cause damage to the retina and the underlying tissue. The fluid leakage from the blood vessels can cause the macula to swell and lose its function. This can lead to a rapid loss of central vision and even blindness if left untreated.
The symptoms of AMD vary depending on the stages and form of the disease. Common symptoms of AMD include the following:
Objects may appear distorted or wavy, and straight lines may appear crooked.
People with AMD may have trouble reading, recognizing faces, and seeing small objects.
This is known as a blind spot, making it difficult to see fine details in the center of the visual field.
People with AMD may have difficulty seeing in low-light conditions, such as at night or in dimly lit rooms.
As the condition progresses, people with AMD may experience a gradual loss of central vision, making it difficult to see fine details.
People with AMD usually cannot recognize the faces of people. Even if they know you well, they may only have to tell who you are if they hear your voice.
For more symptoms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), visit Cobb Corner Eye Care at our office in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Call (781) 344-3335 to book an appointment today.