The macula is a small but important area in the retina at the back of the eye that receives light for vision. When the macula is affected by disease, your central vision will be affected with blurring, patches, dark areas or distortion.
In macular degeneration there is a deterioration or breakdown of the macula, usually caused by aging. Central vision is affected but vision at the side, also called peripheral vision, is spared. A person with macular degeneration may be able to see the outline of a patient’s face, but may not be able to make out details of the facial features like the nose and mouth.
Fortunately, macular degeneration usually does not result in total blindness, even in the more advanced cases. Patients continue to have useful vision and are often able to perform most activities of daily living and take care of themselves.
Many older people develop macular degeneration as part of the body’s aging process. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the commonest forms of macular degeneration. How and why it develops with increasing age is not fully understood.
There are two types of AMD:
Drusen are whitish-yellow deposits under the retina. They are a common feature of macular degeneration (both the “dry” and “wet” forms). Drusen alone usually do not cause visual loss, but may do so if they increase in size or number.
Macular degeneration is another topic Dr Cordelia Chan, Singapore ophthalmologist, will touch on and discuss about Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Symptoms ofmacular degeneration is look at and the treatment.
In its early stages, the condition may be hardly noticeable, and there may be no visual symptoms.
In its more advanced stages, the following may occur:
In early cases where vision is not affected, no treatment is required. Regular self-monitoring with an Amsler grid chart is all that is required.
In more advanced cases, these are the treatment options:
These procedures may preserve vision overall, but often they are not able to restore vision to normal. Despite all these advances in treatment for AMD, many patients still experience some level of visual loss.