Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration

Altered image of an orange Daisy - blurred and black spot over centre

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative retinal disease that affects the macula of the eye resulting in a progressive loss of central vision.

Image:
The image illustrate what an orange Daisy would look like to a person with age -related macular degeneration.

Statistics

According to the WHO website (Resnikoff et al: 2004), AMD accounts for 7.1% of global blindness, making it the 4th biggest cause of blindness worldwide.

Risk factors

There are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing AMD, which include:

  • Unhealthy diet,
  • Smoking and alcohol abuse,
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight,
  • Cardiovascular disease and Hypertension,
  • Genetics -  a family history of AMD will increase your chances of developing it and,
  • Age - the older you get, the higher your chance of developing AMD.

Prevention and treatment

  • A new treatment is available for “wet” AMD whereby an anti-angiogenic is injected into the eye to slow the formation of new rogue blood vessels which can cause sudden and dramatic vision loss.
  • A regular eye examination, at least once every two years, will allow for early detection of AMD.
  • A healthy diet with an increase in zinc and antioxidants will significantly reduce your risk of developing advanced AMD.

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