The Macula is the area of the retina responsible for your most detailed vision. It is very energy intensive and with age this can cause a build up of waste material. This normally presents itself as yellow deposits within the retina called “drusen”.
Over many years these drusen can accumulate at the macula and cause a drop in your vision and this is termed Dry Age Related Macula Degeneration (Dry AMD). There is currently no treatment for this. The accumulation of waste materials is often accompanied by new vessels growing below the retina. These new vessels are the body’s way of helping the macula with its oxygen supply but unfortunately these vessels are fragile. This means that they can sometimes burst and spread in-between the retinal layers leading to distortion or a sudden vision loss which is termed Wet Age Related Macula Degeneration (Wet AMD).
When this happens it needs to be assessed as soon as possible as it may benefit from treatment using a cold laser (photocoagulation) or special eye injections.
The exact causes of AMD are still unknown but the following may have an influence:
Some nutritional supplements are available that are designed to combat AMD. It is important to note that these nutrients are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision already lost from the disease. However, they may play a role in helping certain people at high risk from developing advanced AMD. Ask your optician for more details.
The grid below is a quick and simple test, known as The Amsler Grid. It can help to determine whether you are experiencing the early symptoms of AMD, but remember it is not a substitute for an eye test.
Please follow these simple instructions now:
If areas of the grid appear blurred, distorted, or in any way abnormal then you could be displaying the early signs of AMD. See your optician immediately.
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