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Macular degeneration (AMD) is also known as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)

AMD is a medical condition that may result in blurred or no vision in the centre of the visual field.

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Symptoms of macular degeneration

Distorted vision in the form of metamorphopsia, in which a grid of straight lines appear wavy and parts of the grid may appear blank.  Patients often first notice this when looking at things like blinds in their home or telephone poles while driving.

Early on there are often no symptoms. Over time, however, some people experience a gradual worsening of vision that may affect one or both eyes. While it does not result in complete blindness, loss of central vision can make it hard to recognise faces, drive, read, or perform other activities of daily life.

Slow recovery of visual function after exposure to bright light (photo stress test)

  • Visual acuity drastically decreasing (two levels or more), e.g.: 20/20 to 20/80
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble discerning colours, specifically dark on dark colours or light on light colours
  • A loss in contrast sensitivity
  • Formed visual hallucinations and flashing lights have also been associated with severe visual loss secondary to wet AMD
  • Visual hallucinations may also occur

Macular degeneration typically occurs in older people. Genetic factors and smoking also play a role.

Risk factors
Fat intake
Overexposure to UV lights
Treatment options

Treatment of macular degeneration varies depending on the category of the disease at the time of diagnosis. In general, treatment is aimed at slowing down the progression of AMD.

Currently, there are no treatments to reverse the effects of AMD.

Here are some possible treatments your ophthalmologist may advise:

These stop new blood vessels from forming and block the leaking from the abnormal vessels that cause wet macular degeneration.
Some patients have regained vision they had lost from AMD. You will likely need to get the treatment repeated on follow-up visits.
Laser therapy
Your doctor may suggest a treatment with high-energy laser light that can sometimes destroy actively growing abnormal blood vessels from AMD.
Photodynamic laser therapy
A light-sensitive medication is absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in your eye. Next a laser is used to activate the drug, which damages the abnormal blood vessels.

Age-related Macular degeneration (AMD): Book a consultation

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