Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disease in the central part of the retina. This will occur as you get older and it is a major reason for the visual impairment of the elderly. Will cause blurred vision without pain. Causing the loss of vision, especially in the center of the image. The side image of the vision is still visible.
The disease is often found in people aged 50 and over, so it is often called Age-Related Macular Degeneration due to age. But macular degeneration may be found in younger people. Which is often found in people with a family history of the disease
The symptom of macular degeneration is distorted vision. See straight lines as crooked lines, the center of the image is not visible, looking at the picture requires more light, and reduced color vision.
A risk factor for macular degeneration is age, most commonly in people over 50 hereditary age, with 50% of patients having a previous family history. It is more common in females than males and found in people who smoke, It is likely to get this disease 10 years faster than non-smokers.
There are two types of macular degeneration:
- Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (dry AMD) is a very common type. With degradation and thinning of the image center of the retina, from deterioration with age vision will gradually decrease.
- Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD) is a less common type but if that happens, it will cause a rapid loss of vision. The patient will begin to see a distorted image in the middle, and when the optic nerve dies, it loses its vision.
Causes of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
- Often found in people with very myopia.
- Often found in the elderly, Which is the deterioration process of the body. But the exact cause is unknown. Other risk factors affect the development of the disease, including age and gender. It is most common in people over 50 and female.
- Heredity, especially people with a family history of the disease, have an increased risk of this disease.
- Race: The incidence of the disease is higher in Caucasian people than in Asians and Blacks.
- High blood pressure: People with high blood pressure are at greater risk of getting wet AMD.
Symptoms of macular degeneration.
There will be different symptoms for each patient and it is difficult to notice the vision abnormality from the beginning. Especially if the other eye is visible. The patient may not notice the abnormality. But if there is macular degeneration in both eyes, the patient will experience the abnormal vision rapidly. For example, looking in the middle of the picture is not clear. The center of the image that is looking is missing or too dark, or the image that is viewed is distorted.
Prevention of macular degeneration.
The average person between the ages of 40 and 64 does not have any visual impairment. Should have an eye exam including a retinal examination every 2 – 4 years. For those aged 65 years and over, it is recommended that they be tested every 1 to 2 years even without any abnormal symptoms. Early detection and treatment of the disease is necessary. Because the retina is already damaged There will only be more and more. Current treatments can only stop or slow the deterioration of the retina and may not be able to cure at all If the disease is severe.
There is currently no cure for this disease. But can stop or delay To slow macular degeneration as possible. With treatment methods including injections, The use of low-energy lasers and sensitive substance, high-energy lasers and use a variety of methods. Each treatment has both advantages and disadvantages. Because each patient’s body responds differently, before treating, an ophthalmologist, the relative patient should talk to each other to determine the best treatment.
Macular degeneration, although it cannot be cured. But can prevent macular degeneration by Regularly have regular eye checkups. This is especially true in the elderly who are over 50 years old or have a family history of macular degeneration. Stop smoking, eating foods that contain antioxidants, such as green leafy vegetables and fruits, etc. can prevent macular degeneration.
Therefore, it is best to keep observation and get an eye exam early. Will be the best way to treat the retina.