- 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
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.
ARMD is usually detected during a routine eye examination.
How is the diagnosis established?
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.
- 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.