MACULAR DEGENERATION


 Find out about age-related macular degeneration and how can we help you

This condition occurs when the support cells that help the light sensitive cells at the macula function effectively become less efficient. This leads to a build up of waste materials at the macula called DRUSEN, which can eventually affect central vision.

What is the macula?

The macula forms part of the retina, which is a layer of nerve cells that lines the inside of the eye. The macula is located at the back of the eye and is made up of many light-sensitive cells. These cells produce our vision and help us to complete detailed tasks such as writing and looking at photographs.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in those over the age of 65 in westernised countries.

Are there different types of age-related macular degeneration?

Yes. There are two main types of age-related macular degeneration. The main difference between the two types is that one involves the growth of new blood vessels behind the macula, and one does not.

Examples of a healthy eye

Examples of a healthy eye

‘Wet’ macular degeneration

This occurs when leaky new blood vessels develop. This can result in rapid loss of central vision, although peripheral or side vision is not affected. This affects less than 10% of AMD sufferers, and is the end result of “Dry” macular degeneration

Example of an eye with Macular Odema

Example of an eye with Macular Odema

'Dry’ macular degeneration

This is the result of slow progressive age change. A person could have the early stages or dry macular degeneration and not notice any problems with their vision. Gradually, over many years, the central vision may start to deteriorate, although this may not occur in both eyes. If a person has dry macular degeneration, they are more likely to go on to develop wet macular degeneration than someone who has no macular degeneration at all.

 

Who is at greater risk of age-related macular degeneration?

  • People over 65 years of age.

  • People who smoke.

  • People without a balanced diet.

  • People who suffer from obesity.

  • People between the ages of 18 and 70 should normally have an eye test every two years.

People aged over 70 should have an eye test annually.  We will let you know if, for any reason, you should have your eyes examined more frequently than this.

If we do see signs of age-related changes at your macula, you may then be referred to your local eye clinic to see an Ophthalmologist who is medically qualified to diagnose and treat wet macular degeneration.

Follow this link to local Bath Ophthalmologist and AMD Specialist Richard Antcliff's website for valuable insight into this condition: