If haziness or blank spots appear in your central vision, or if you find that straight lines look a little wavy, see your eye doctor—it could be a sign of age-related macular degeneration, an eye condition that could lead to severe vision loss.
It is a chronic irreversible medical
condition that results in loss of vision
in the centre of the visual fi eld (the
macula) because of damage to the
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 50 years old. Smokers have a two to four times higher risk of developing AMD compared to non-smokers.*
If you are over 50 and smoke, have your eyes checked. *Based on a 2009 study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute
The condition can make it diffi cult to read or recognise faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow you to continue with other daily activities. However, activities like driving and reading will be affected.
Age-related macular degeneration occurs in ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ forms. 90% of AMD patients suff er from the dry form. Dry AMD results in slow progressive loss of central vision. The condition develops as the lightsensitive cells in the macula slowly break down with age.
In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye leads to the leaking of blood and proteins into the macula, leading to subsequent vision loss. The wet form commonly results in advance visual loss within a short period of time.
One or some of these symptoms may be experienced :
There are no proven preventive medications for AMD. The best way to prevent vision loss is to get a prompt eye examination and diagnosis by your eye doctor. Early diagnosis improves the success of treatment.
You can monitor your vision daily by looking at an Amsler grid (Fig. 1). The Amsler grid is a diagnostic tool that can help to detect subtle changes in your vision. You should also stop smoking, eat a healthy balanced diet that includes leafy green vegetables, and protect your eyes from UV light with protective sunglasses or head gear with wide brims.
Treatment options for wet AMD :
There is no treatment for dry AMD although magnifiers can help with reading.
Your risk increases with :
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