5 Common Signs and Symptoms of Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that causes severe and permanent vision loss, and people over 50 are more susceptible to it. It happens when the macula of the retina was damaged causing a severe vision problem. 

AMD has 2 forms: dry (atrophic) and wet (exudative).  The most common is the dry form where it develops drusen or yellow deposits in the macula. This leads to blind spots in the center of your vision. On the other hand, the wet form happens when abnormal blood vessels grow in the macula and leak blood or fluid causing distorted vision. 

Possible Causes

Macular degeneration is not only age-related, but there is also some research that says it is hereditary.  There are also some contributing factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, unhealthy diet, and obesity.

Common Symptoms of AMD

  • Blurred Vision – This is one of the first signs of AMD. Usually, it starts with a small blurriness near the center of your vision. It progresses slowly or quickly. You will also notice the blank spots growing larger in your central visual field. 
  • Distorted Vision – AMD makes the shape of objects appear distorted. Straight lines can appear wavy or crooked. 
  • Need For Brighter Lighting – People with AMD will have difficulty adapting to low light and requires better lighting as the macular degeneration progress. 
  • Difficult Reading –  Because of the blurred vision, you will notice the difficulty reading especially small text.
  • Change In Color Perception –  Colors appear less saturated with people with AMD. The bright shades may look dull to them and may have difficulty differentiating objects with similar colors.

Treatment

There is actually no cure for macular degeneration but we can slow the progression and try to prevent severe loss of vision. 

  1. Laser therapy can help destroy abnormal blood vessel growth in the macula. 
  2. Anti-angiogenic drugs can be injected into your eye to stop the abnormal vessels forming and leaking of blood or fluid. 
  3. Use of brighter bulbs at home.
  4. Buying and reading large-print books or use a magnifying glass when reading. 
  5. Seek immediate attention for any progressive symptoms.
Written by Stuart Bold
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