Treatment of AMD
Age-related Macular Degeneration ( AMD ) for short, this is an age-related macular degeneration. Chronic, progressive eye disease that occurs in people over the age of 50, although the exudative form of the disease can also affect young people. As a result, AMD damages the retina, specifically its central part, i.e. the macula. This leads to deterioration, loss, and sometimes complete loss of vision and blindness.
AMD is diagnosed through an ophthalmological examination that includes visual acuity testing and fundus evaluation by an ophthalmologist. When it detects degenerative changes in the central retina, it can extend the diagnosis to include non-invasive OCT (eye tomography) and fluorescein angiography and indocyanine angiography – tests to visualize blood vessels.
We do not know the causes of age-related macular degeneration. The disease affects 5-10% of people aged 65-75 and 20-30% of people over the age of 75 . Importantly, if one eye develops age-related macular degeneration, the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration increases by 10% per year.
Dr. Ewa Bobińska-Kachnowicz
AMD is the main cause of blindness in people over 50.
It is estimated that it occurs in almost 9% of the population, more often in women, and its frequency increases with age and affects almost 28% of people after the age of 75 .
Symptoms of macular degeneration are:
– seeing straight lines as wavy or distorted
– progressive difficulty in reading.
There are two forms of macular degeneration: so-called dry and wet . The former occurs in about 80-90% of patients. It develops more slowly and causes less damage. Dry AMD can be treated with medications to improve blood circulation, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and by lowering cholesterol.
The wet form is much more dangerous .
In this case, the eye, defending itself against ischemia, produces additional, abnormal blood vessels. They overgrow the retina and damage cells, and scar tissue, which leads to further damage. The deterioration of eyesight in this case occurs very quickly, even within a few months. The seen image is distorted, dark spots of “scotoma” appear in front of the eyes. If left untreated, it leads to a complete loss of central vision in nine cases out of ten. It can affect young people. Treatment of wet AMD by laser light destroys abnormal blood vessels – unless they are located in the center of the macula. A new method available recently – the so-called photodynamic – involves the introduction of a dye into the bloodstream, captured by pathological vessels in the eye. Only these are later destroyed with the laser. However, neither of these methods improves vision, but only inhibits the further development of the disease.
In 10-15% of patients with dry macular degeneration, it becomes wet. In all forms of AMD, central vision is impaired, while peripheral vision remains intact. This results in the so-called lunar vision.
What are the causes of macular degeneration (AMD)?
The main cause of AMD is metabolic disturbance in the cells of the retina. Free radicals, harmful molecules and chemicals cause macular degeneration. Cell death leads to a permanent loss of visual acuity. The disease develops gradually, in 40% of patients within 5 years, AMD may also appear in the other eye.
The development of AMD may be influenced by:
- smoking tobacco,
- advanced age,
- overexposure of eyesight to sunlight and blue radiation,
- coexistence of obesity, hypertension and diabetes,
- genetic predisposition.
Amsler test – initial diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
P The Amsler test is a grid of horizontal and vertical lines used to monitor the patient’s central field of view. It is a simple, easy and quick diagnostic test that helps detect visual disturbances caused by changes in the retina, especially in the macula, as well as in the optic nerve and the visual pathway .
The test should be performed holding the sheet of paper at a distance of about 30 cm from the eyes, ie at a natural “reading” distance. If you usually use glasses while reading, put them on before you do the test.
Carry out the test for each eye separately.
Follow by instructions described on the Amsler test: