Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), commonly known as macular degeneration, results in blurred vision or vision loss in the centre of the visual field. It affects the most sensitive part of the retina known as the macula. The macula allows us to see fine details.
Macular degeneration typically occurs in older people but genetic factors and smoking may also play a role.
Macular degeneration can occur in one eye or both eyes.
Symptoms of macular degeneration include a gradual or sudden decline in the ability to see objects clearly, distorted vision, dark or empty spaces blocking the central field, and dimming of colour vision.
Over time, some individuals experience a gradual worsening of vision. Although macular degeneration does not result in complete blindness, the loss of central vision makes it difficult to recognise faces, drive, read, look at detailed objects or perform other activities of daily life.
Dry and wet age-related macular degeneration
The severity of AMD is divided into early, intermediate and late types.
The late type of AMD is further divided into "dry" and "wet" forms, with the dry form making up to 90% of cases.
In the wet form of AMD, anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) medication is injected into the eye to slow the disease's progression.
Other less common treatments include laser coagulation or photodynamic therapy.