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Macular Degeneration


As age advances cells of our body become vulnerable to breakdown. Macular degeneration is breakdown of the retinal cells at macula. The macula is a small area in the retina at the back of the eye that gives us central vision for reading. Macular degeneration affects distance as well as near vision. Although macular degeneration reduces vision in the central part of the retina, it usually does not affect the eye’s peripheral vision so one can see the outline of a face but not been able to see other details.


Many older people develop macular degeneration as part of the body’s natural aging process. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss over 65.
The two most common types of AMD are “dry” (atrophic) and “wet” (exudative):

Dry Macular Degeneration (Atrophic)
The dry form of macular degeneration accounts for about 90% of all AMD cases.. It is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. Vision loss is usually gradual.

Wet Macular Degenereation (Exudative)
It results when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the retina at the back of the eye. These new blood vessels leak fluid or blood and blur central vision. Vision loss may be rapid and severe.


Following are some common ways vision loss can be detected:
1. words on a page look blurred:
2. a dark or empty area appears in the center of vision;
3. straight lines look distorted.

DIAGNOSIS Can be done by

1. a simple vision test on Amsler grid
2. Ophthalmoscopy
3. By Fluorescein angiography to find abnormal blood vessels under the retina. In this procedure a special dye is injected intravenously and dye-enhanced photographs of eyes are taken.



Although the exact causes of macular degeneration are not fully understood, antioxidant vitamins and zinc may reduce the impact of AMD in some people.
It is very important to remember that vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, However, specific amounts of these supplements do play a key role in helping some people at high risk for advanced AMD to maintain their vision.


These procedures may preserve more sight overall, though they are not cures that restore vision to normal.Certain types of “wet” macular degeneration can be treated with
• laser surgery, a brief outpatient procedure that uses a focused beam of light to slow or stop leaking blood vessels that damage the macula. A treatment called photo-dynamic therapy (PDT) uses a combination of a special drug and laser treatment to slow or stop leaking blood vessels – cold laser treatment with visudyne .
• Another form of treatment targets a specific chemical in your body that is critical in causing abnormal blood vessels to grow under the retina. That chemical is called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Anti-VEGF, reducing the growth of abnormal blood vessels and slowing their leakage. These drugs are injected into the vitreous cavity and have to be repeated 4 to 6 weekly in some cases. Lucentis, Avastin.

3. Low Vision Aids

To help you adapt to lower vision levels, your ophthalmologist can prescribe optical devices or refer you to a low-vision specialist or center. Because side vision is usually not affected, a person’s remaining sight is very useful. Often, people can continue with many of their favorite activities by using low-vision optical devices such as magnifying devices, closed-circuit television, large-print reading materials and talking or computerized devices.

Medication and Care to be Taken

Testing your vision with the Amsler grid
You can check your vision daily by using an Amsler grid like the one pictured here. You may find changes in your vision that you wouldn’t notice otherwise. Putting the grid on the front of your refrigerator is a good way to remember to look at it each day.

Amsler grid
To use the grid:
1. Wear your reading glasses and hold this grid around 1 foot away from your face in good light.
2. Cover one eye.
3. Look directly at the center dot with the uncovered eye.
4. While looking directly at the center dot, note whether all lines of the grid are straight or if any areas are distorted, blurred, blurred or dark.
5. Repeat this procedure with the other eye.
6. If any area of the grid looks wavy, blurred or dark, contact your ophthalmologist immediately.

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