The best way to detect AMD is by having regular eye exams. As we age, it is important to practice preventative eye care. Vision quality lost to an eye disease like AMD cannot be restored. The best way to maintain a high quality of vision is to be proactive with your optical care.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among Canadians age 65 and older. Currently, there is no cure for AMD (though there are promising studies and treatments in development).
There are two types of AMD:
Approximately 9 in 10 cases of AMD are the atrophic variant. Also called “dry AMD”, this version of AMD places yellow deposits (called drusen) on the macula. As the drusen are deposited in size and quantity, your vision will become increasingly dim and distorted.
Also called “wet AMD”, exudative AMD is marked by blind spots and distorted vision that is the result of blood and other fluids leaking on to the retina.
The first step in properly managing AMD is identifying the type and progression of your AMD. We will work with you to implement a beneficial diet and management program to help preserve your vision.
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AMD generally forms without specific symptoms to denote its progression. Unlike the flu, which is generally accompanied by symptoms (such as a fever or a runny nose), age-related macular degeneration is marked only by its impacts on your vision.
As the AMD develops you will notice changes to your central vision. As drusen is deposited on the retina, you will begin to notice areas of blurry, hazy, dim, or colour-deficient vision. As AMD progresses these areas will get larger and more numerous.
AMD has no cure. Treatment generally comprises of delaying further vision loss as much as possible (via diet/lifestyle controls). People with exudative AMD have a few treatment options available. Laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and treatment with Macugen can destroy or control the growth of the abnormal blood vessels in the macula- this is helpful for some people who have wet AMD.