Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by the central part of your retina (macula) deteriorating due to age. As this is the part of your retina which is responsible for your central vision, this worsens over time. This deterioration is usually gradual, but can be sudden in some cases.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of AMD include blurred vision when reading, difficulty recognising people’s faces, and colours losing their vibrancy. As it affects only your central vision, there is no effect on peripheral vision.
AMD comes in two different types. Dry AMD is the most common, and causes gradual deterioration in central vision. If you notice an ongoing decline in your vision, you should make an appointment to see your optician to see whether you are experiencing dry AMD.
Wet AMD is much more serious, with a sudden deterioration in your vision which can worsen considerably in only a matter of days without rapid treatment. Around 10% of patients who contract dry AMD will go on to develop wet AMD.
How is macular degeneration treated?
Unfortunately, neither type of AMD can currently be cured. Dry AMD sufferers are assisted in making the most of their remaining vision, such as through the use of magnifiers to help with reading and watching TV. Wet AMD is treated through prescription drugs, injections or laser surgery which aim to stop your vision from deteriorating further.