Sunday, 19 January 2014

Age Related Macular Deganaration ( ARMD ) & Treatment India
  • Macula is a small area in the retina which is responsible for central vision.
  • Deterioration or breakdown in the macula is called macular degeneration. When this happens as a result of an aging process it is termed as Age Related Macular Degeneration ( ARMD ).
  • ARMD is amongst the leading causes of visual disability in people over 65 years of age and may affect one or both eyes. It is of two types : Dry and Wet
It is atrophic in nature where thinning of the tissues of the macula takes place and visual loss is gradual. This is the more common form of ARMD. ARMD
It is also called as Exudative ARMD; results when abnormal blood vessels arise from Choroid ( layer beneath the retina ). These new vessels leak fluid or blood and blur the central vision. Visual loss can be rapid and severe.

One experiences blurring of vision and has difficulty in recognising faces and reading the centre of the page while the periphery appears normal. Dark and empty areas appear in the centre of the vision. Straight lines appear wavy.

Who is at a risk of developing ARMD?
  • Smokers are at a risk of almost two fold than non smokers.
  • Caucasians are more likely candidates than people of American decent.
  • High Myopes.
  • People with family history of ARMD disease.

How is ARMD Detected?
ARMD is usually detected during a routine eye examination.
Amsler Grid in Macular Degeneration

How is the diagnosis established?
Diagnosis is confirmed by a clinical examination of the retina. Some important tests like the Amslers Grid charting, Optical Coherence Tomography ( OCT ) and Fundus Flourescein Angiography help to determine the type and extent of the damage to the retina.

Can ARMD be treated?
The DRY ARMD is managed by nutritional supplements in the form of antioxidants.
WET ARMD is treatable and gets good results when detected early. The simplest form of treatment is by way of intravitreal injections. These injections are agents that target specific chemical that are responsible for the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina. These chemicals are called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors ( VEGF ). The injections which block the trouble causing VEGF are called Anti-VEGFs. These reduce the growth of the abnormal blood vessels and reduce the leakage from them. These intravitreal injections are painless and harmless. Most are FDA approved.

Photo Dynamic Therapy :
Certain types of Wet ARMD need to be treated by a special type of dye and LASER treatment to stop the leaking blood vessels. In advanced cases of ARMD these treatment lines may not help. Vision can then be rehabilitated with the help of Low Visual Aids.

How can ARMD affect my life?
ARMD has impact on activities like reading, cooking, shopping and watching TV. Moving in dimly lit rooms can be difficult. Keeping rooms brightly lit can help.

How do I protect my vision?
  • Make regular visits to the eye doctor.
  • Eat healthy, Stay active "Learn to watch for symptoms of ARMD, like waviness of lines and report to the doctor if any change is noted.
  • Use of Visual Aids can make life easy for those who have already lost vision due to ARMD.
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