Age-Related Macular Degeneration affects the central vision of an individual. The symptoms include difficulty in reading, colours appear less vibrant and faces or objects may appear blurred. The disease usually progresses with age. However, in rare instances, it may affect children. There are two types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Dry AMD is more common and is caused by deposition of drusen over the macula. Wet AMD is caused by the formation of abnormal blood vessels beneath the macula that starts damaging its cells. If left untreated, wet AMD can lead to rapid vision loss.
There is no known cure for age-related macular degeneration. However, timely medical intervention and treatment can control the progression of the disorder. Dry AMD leads to a very gradual loss of vision. Corrective measures like aids to improve vision like magnifying glasses, bright light may be employed to reduce the strain on eyes. Vitamin A, C, E supplements are also effective in controlling the disease.
There are two lines of treatment for Wet AMD. Medication that inhibits the production of vascular endothelial growth factor may be prescribed by your ophthalmologist. The Vascular endothelial growth factor is responsible for the development of abnormal blood vessels that lead to the disorder. The medication is injected into the eye with a thin needle. The treatment is moderately successful but it does not restore full vision. Regular monitoring and follow-up treatment may be required.
Photodynamic therapy involves the destruction of abnormal blood vessels with a low-powered laser beam. The treatment has to be repeated every 3 to 4 month to cut off new growths. Laser photocoagulation, on the other hand, destroys parts of the retina having the abnormal blood vessels by a strong laser beam. The treatment is less successful than other options and should be chosen only if none of the alternative treatments works. Lens implantation and macular translocation yield better results.
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