Overview of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration, AMD is a progressive eye condition that becomes worse over time. For people aged over 60 years, it is one of the main causes of permanent vision loss. The central part of the retina is called the macular; when the macular get AMD, it tears down. Macular degeneration happens as you get old, which is why it is known as age-related macular degeneration. However, macular degeneration can also affect children, and in this case, it is known as juvenile macular degeneration.
The development of the AMD is classified as either early-stage or late-stage AMD. A person with early-stage AMD does not show any noticeable signs and symptoms. It is only an eye doctor who, after scrutinization of the eye, can be able to detect some small white spots in the retina that can worsen in the later stage of the condition. In the early stage, the cause of the issue is thought to be a result of inflammation and oxidative stress. Cause of oxidative stress includes poor diet and exposing your eye to the very bright light. Food that contains antioxidants is very good at dealing with oxidative stress. If you have early-stage AMD, you will continue to have good vision for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, for some people, they may proceed to the late-stage AMD.
The late-stage AMD comes after the early-stage AMD. It can either be wet or dry. The wet AMD happens when abnormal blood vessels develop behind the macular. This type is characterized by leakage of fluids from the eye and distortion of the vision. On the other hand, dry AMD is characterized by atrophy, where some cells around the retina die or waste away.
There has been little research regarding the macular degeneration condition. Therefore, the exact cause of diseases is not conclusive. However, what is known is that hereditary and environmental factors can trigger the diseases. It is vital to note that the causes of age-related macular degeneration are not the same for different people.
What factors can increase the risk of you getting age-related macular degeneration? The primary factor is age. It is rare to find the condition in young people. Your risks are high when you are aged 55s and older. If your family has a history of AMD, then your risk of getting it is also high. Race is also another factor. Africans are less likely to get the disease compared with Caucasians. Research has also shown that smoking cigarette doubles your chances of getting this eye condition. Ultraviolet and blue light aggravate macular degeneration.
Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, there are management tips that you can observe to reduce the risk of diseases and slow the advancement of the condition. Once diagnosed, you will be given anti-angiogenesis drugs, which are meant to block the creation and leaking of the blood vessels in your eye. Laser therapy destroys abdominal blood vessels. Photodynamic laser therapy has also been employed in the AMD treatment strategy.