Understand Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is an eye disease in which macula gets deteriorated and the person with age 50 or older loses its central vision gradually.

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Age-related macular degeneration is a common eye condition having a problem with your eye’s retina. It happens usually when a part of the retina called the macula deteriorates. With AMD person cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. With AMD you lose your central vision. But your peripheral side vision will still be normal. It is a cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. As AMD progresses, a blurred area near the centre of vision is a common symptom. Researchers also have estimated that approximately 5 per cent of blindness globally is due to AMD. Now the age-related macular degeneration treatment in Ayurveda.

Types of AMD

  1. Dry AMD - It is a quite common type. About 80% of people who suffer from AMD have a dry form. It occurs when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny spots of protein grow. You slowly lose central vision. It is an early stage of the disease. However, visual impairment from dry AMD can continue to progress year after year, eventually leading to significant vision loss.
  2. Wet AMD - This type is less common but much more severe. This type occurs when the new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. The person may lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.

Causes of AMD

Though the age-related macular degeneration causes are not much clear but are associated with ageing, studies suggest there also is a genetic component related to the disease.

  1. The complement factor H (CFH), gene deficiency is associated with almost half of all potentially blinding cases of macular degeneration, research proves.
  2. Another research has shown that various cells in the retina produce a type of protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which enhances the growth of new blood vessels in the retina, this is another cause of age-related macular degeneration causes as too much VEGF in the eye causes the development of unwanted blood vessels in the retina that easily break open and bleed, damaging the macula and surrounding retina.

Risk Factors

  1. Aging is a primary risk factor for AMD. Each decade of life after age 40 significantly increases one’s risk for the disease.
  2. Heredity - Specific variants of different genes are present in most people who have macular degeneration. Family history and Genetics plays a great role in acquiring AMD. People with a family history of AMD are at higher risk.
  3. Smoking. Smoking is another major risk factor for AMD.
  4. Obesity- Researchers have found that people with dry AMD who were also obese had more than double the risk of developing advanced macular degeneration, compared with people of normal body weight.
  5. Inactivity. People with dry AMD who perform vigorous activity at least three times weekly reduced their risk of developing advanced AMD, compared with people with dry AMD who were sedentary.
  6. Spending too much time in the sun can also increase the risk factor for AMD.

Signs and Symptoms of AMD

  1. Age-related macular degeneration symptom includes a slow, painless loss of vision.
  2. Early age-related macular degeneration symptoms include shadowy areas in your central vision or unusually distorted spots that affect only the central portion of your field of vision.
  3. If your eye doctor detects some defect in your central vision, such as distortion or blurriness, he or she may order special imaging tests to examine the retinal blood vessels surrounding the macula.
  4. Dark, blurry areas or whiteout appears in the centre of your vision.
  5. Words in a book or newspaper may become blurred.
  6. Colors appear less bright.
  7. Difficulty in recognizing the faces.
  8. One specific age-related macular degeneration symptom is visual distortion. Typically, straight lines appear wavy or crooked.
  9. Visual hallucinations are one of the common age-related macular degeneration symptoms in people with severe visual loss of any cause.

Know about your symptoms and get a cure with age-related macular degeneration treatment in Ayurveda. 

Diagnosis of AMD

Various comprehensive dilated eye exams can detect AMD. The eye exam may include the following:

  1. Visual acuity test - This eye chart measures how well a patient sees at distances.
  2. Dilated eye exam - The doctor places drops in your eyes to widen or dilate the pupils. This provides a better view of the back of your eye. Then, using a special magnifying lens, he or she then looks at your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD and other eye problems.
  3. Amsler grid - The doctor also may ask you to look at an Amsler grid. Changes in your central vision may cause the lines in the grid to disappear or appear wavy, a sign of AMD.
  4. Optical coherence tomography - OCT is similar to ultrasound, except that it uses light waves, and can achieve very high-resolution images of any tissues that can be penetrated by light, such as the eyes.

To know how Ayurveda helps in ARMD, visit treatment for age-related macular degeneration

Dr. Dinesh Sharma

Dr. Dinesh Sharma is an Ayurvedic Eye Specialist and Founder of Prakash Nethralaya treating severe eye and chronic diseases since 2005 and promoting ways to keep eyes healthy with a crystal clear vision. Know More

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