ARMD or age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over the age of 50. It is an eye condition that causes damage to the macula. The macula is found at the back of the eye, on the retina, and consists of nerve cells called cones, which are responsible for the perception of light. ARMD causes gradual blurring or loss of sight at the central line of vision.
Depending on the causes, there are two types of ARMD:
- Dry ARMD: occurs from damage to the macula’s cone cells and supporting tissue. This type of ARMD usually progresses slowly.
- Wet ARMD: is the less common type of ARMD, and is caused by neovascularization (development of abnormal blood vessels) beneath the retina. These vessels are usually fragile, and leak fluid and blood leading to damage of the macula. The damage is often rapid and may cause severe vision loss in a short time.
ARMD affects the sharp, central vision, and can impair your ability to recognize faces, read, write, drive, and cook. Smokers, Caucasians and people with a family history of ARMD are at a greater risk of ARMD.
Your doctor diagnoses ARMD by a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Recommended treatment options include:
- Lucentis injection
- Photodynamic therapy