What are the risks of age-related macular degeneration?
Delicate cells of the macula can often become damaged and stop working. If this happens later in life, it is referred to as age-related macular degeneration or AMD. There are two different types of AMD, known as ‘wet’ and ‘dry’.
‘Dry’ AMD is the most common type of the condition. This develops at a slow rate causing loss of central vision and the fading of colours. ‘Wet’ AMD results in new blood vessels growing behind the retina which can lead to sight loss.
Both types of AMD usually affect both of your eyes. You may notice that one eye is affected before the other, making it harder to notice the condition. It isn’t painful but it is the common cause of poor sight in people over 60.
The exact cause for AMD is unknown; however, there are a number of risk factors that have been highlighted:
• Gender – women are more likely to develop it than men
• Genetics – family history
• Sunlight – lifetime exposure
It is possible to control the environmental factors that seem to be linked to AMD. Protecting your vision against the sun’s UV rays, eating a well-balanced diet, and quitting smoking can help to delay its progress.
In the early stages of AMD your central vision may be blurred, with objects looking quite fuzzy. Depending on the strength of the AMD, you may notice that these symptoms of AMD develop quickly or over several months. It will affect the centre of your retina making reading, writing and recognising small objects difficult.
The best way to detect AMD is by completing an eye examination with a qualified optometrist. They will assess your vision in both eyes before giving you eye drops to enlarge the pupils. Your specialist gives you the drops so that they can examine your vision in further detail.
For more information or to book your eye test, simply call our friendly and experienced team at Eye Emporium on 0800 020 9202 or by emailing