image

Age Related Macular Degeneration

  • Home
  • Age Related Macular Degeneration
image

Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 65 years and accounts one-third of cases of untreatable vision loss. This is a painless, irreversible, degenerative eye condition of the macula. With age, sometimes there is hardening of the arteries that nourish the retina. This deprives the sensitive retinal tissue of oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function and thrive. This leads to deterioration of central vision.

There are two major types -

  • Dry ARMD which is more common
  • Wet ARMD is a more advanced disease with rapid distortion and loss of central vision.

Causes

It is a multifactorial disease mostly due to:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Environmental
  • Metabolic
  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Other medical history liek high blood pressure

Symptoms

  • Loss of central vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Distorted vision
  • Wavy appearance of straight lines

Lifestyle Changes

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get your multivitamins
  • Always protect your eyes with sunglasses and UV protection

Treatment

Dry ARMD is generally a silent slowly progressive one.
Wet ARMD is associated with vision problems and distortion. Diagnosing this condition in time is the key to prevent any damage or scarring of the macula as the disease progresses.

Photodynamic Therapy

A combination of drugs and laser therapy, a verteporfin photosensitive compound that localizes to the target tissue is injected into a peripheral vein and excited with a laser light of a specific wavelength. Activated verteporfin forms free radicals which coagulate the leaky subretinal vessel responsible for cellular injury. Patients receiving PDT should be advised to avoid sun exposure to the sun and other sources of bright light.

VGEF Injections

Since the angiogenic role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VGEF) in neovascularization in conditions like wet ARMD, new treatment modalities like anti-VGEF injections are the standard line of treatment.
Injections that are available are:

  • Bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech/Roche)
  • Ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech)
  • Aflibercept (Ey;ea, Regenron)

VissionTip : Cover one eye at a time, look at the center dot and note the line if they look straight, wavy or fuzzy. Contact your doctor if you see any irregularities or notice any changes.

image