Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive condition causing damage to central vision. It can cause blurred, distorted or blank areas in the central vision, making it more difficult to distinguish fine detail when reading and facial features. Good side/peripheral vision is maintained.
The biggest risk factor for AMD is advancing age. However, other risk factors have been identified, including family history, smoking, ultra-violet light exposure and a poor diet.
At present, there is no definitive way of absolutely preventing AMD with increasing age. However, by adopting some lifestyle choices, you may be able to delay the onset and/or reduce the severity of AMD.
To maintain macular health, a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants is recommended. In particular, the anti-oxidant vitamins (A, C and E), fish oil, zinc, lutein, selenium and zeaxanthin are important for macular function. For someone with AMD and anyone wanting to maintain good macular health, a daily supplement containing the above vitamins and minerals is recommended.
Also, just as important as nutritional advice, is the recommendation not to smoke and the recommendation to wear UV protectant sunglasses whenever outdoors.
There is a simple chart available to check and monitor your central vision in each eye. This is known as an Amsler grid and can be obtained from your optometrist. It is more sensitive at picking up visual damage from macular disease than your own observations in day-to-day life.
There are two types of AMD - dry and wet. The dry type is more slowly progressive and there is currently no treatment for it. The wet type causes a more profound loss of central vision, which can occur suddenly. There is bleeding of small blood vessels and or tissue swelling in wet AMD. If detected early, there are ophthalmologist procedures to treat this, including injections into the eye and/or laser treatment. These procedures may halt or slow down the progression of wet AMD. Dry macular degeneration may progress to become wet macular degeneration, so it is always best to have your eyes regularly examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
- This is the advice from Retina Australia based on broadly available research. Every case of macular degeneration is individual and it is always recommended to seek the advice of your optometrist and / or ophthalmologist.
For further information, or to contact Retina Australia (Qld) go to the website at www.retinaqld.org.au or the national organisation at www.retinaaustralia.com.au Reply to this post | Report
Report this post
You must be a HealthShare member to report this post.
to your account or
now (it's free).