Age-Related Macular Degeneration

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Know the basics

What is age-related macular degeneration?

The macula is a small central position of the retina (the light-sensing layer at the back of the eye). Macular degeneration refers to the deterioration of the macula. Since this condition often occurs in old people, which leads to losing vision, commonly known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Basically, there are 2 types of AMD:

  • Dry form: yellow deposits, also known as drusen, appear in the macula. As drusen grow, they distort the vision, even causing tissue death in later stages. Patients experience blind spots, and eventually losing their central vision.
  • Wet form: unusual blood vessels grow beneath the macular, releasing blood and fluid into the retina. This condition is called choroidal neovascularization. The results are visual distortion, blind spots and permanent loss of central vision caused by scars from the bleeding.

Most AMD patients suffer from the dry form. However, the dry form can develop into the wet form, leading to serious vision loss.

It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration does not show any symptom in the early stage until it gets serious enough to affect your vision. The first noticeable sign is probably a dim, blurry spot in the center of your vision which will grow bigger or darker over time.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes age-related macular degeneration?

The main cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration may have a genetic factor, which means your risk of AMD is higher if someone in your family has it. Other risk factors include smoking, high cholesterol, and blood pressure, being female, having the fair complexion and light eye color.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is age-related macular degeneration diagnosed?

Fortunately, AMD can be diagnosed through routine eye checkups. Your doctor can detect the presence of drusen when examining your eyes. Another test is to look at an Amsler grid, if the straight lines on the grids seem wavy  or missing, you may have AMD.

How is age-related macular degeneration treated?

Although AMD cannot be cured currently, there are treatments that are able to slow the progress down and prevent severe visual loss.

Available options include:

  • Anti-angiogenesis drugs;
  • Vitamins, zinc;
  • Laser therapy;
  • Submacular surgery;
  • Retinal translocation.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage age-related macular degeneration?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with health condition:

  • Stop smoking;
  • Try to eat healthily and increase fruit, vegetables in your daily meat;
  • Do exercise to have the healthy life and prevent some diseases such as high cholesterol, blood pressure.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 14, 2016 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019