Age Related Macular Degeneration
According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in people aged 50 and older. This is mostly due to the fact that age-related macular degeneration has no noticeable symptoms from the outset.
Getting a regular, comprehensive eye exam will help save your vision from AMD and other silent eye diseases. At Focus Eye Care & Surgery, our board-certified New York eye specialist, Dr. Neelofar Ghaznawi, performs a thorough evaluation to achieve accurate diagnosis. This helps her develop a treatment plan with you so your needs and lifestyle are addressed. Dr. Ghaznawi is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
What is age-related macular degeneration?
The macula is responsible for the eyes’ sharp, central vision.
It is located in the retina, the lining at the back of the eyes sensitive to incoming light rays.
When the macula is damaged, you won’t be able to see clearly straight ahead and up close. Seeing fine details, recognizing faces, reading, and driving are some of the things you will have difficulty doing.
Total vision loss from AMD is rare. The side or peripheral vision remains intact.
Types of Macular Degeneration
Dry AMD develops when the macula thins as it ages. Cellular debris made of lipid and proteins (called drusen) grow under the retina. Dry AMD progresses slowly but could lead to wet AMD.
Eight out of ten people who get AMD have the dry type, while the rest have the wet type. Dry AMD is not reversible at present.
Wet AMD arises when new, abnormal blood vessels leak blood and cause scarring of the macula. If caught early, wet AMD can be treated, but vision loss happens much faster than dry AMD.
How can I check for AMD?
A quick, simple test could alert you to changes in your vision when you suspect you have AMD. The tool is called Amsler Grid, with a dot in the center. People with normal vision should be able to focus on the dot and see all the other small squares normally. People with AMD would see dark, wavy, or blurry lines in some areas of the grid.
What are the treatment options for AMD?
Wet AMD Treatment
To slow down leaking from blood vessels, an injectable anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) is delivered to the eye via a slim needle. Anti-VEGF has also been shown to reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in the retina.
- Laser therapy
A high energy laser beam is focused onto the retina to seal the leaking blood vessels. Sealing also prevents new growth of abnormal blood vessels.
Some blurring of the central vision may still be observed, depending on how close the leaking blood vessels are to the macula.