Adult macular degeneration is traditionally described as
a form of the disease which affects individuals over the age
of 55 years. However, we have recently discovered that a
significant number of these individuals may have a major
genetic component that contributes to the disease.
What does ARMD do to your vision?
Macular degeneration is the imprecise historical name given
to that group of diseases that causes sight-sensing cells in
the macular zone of the retina to malfunction or lose
function and results in debilitating loss of vital central
or detail vision.
What are the Symptoms of ARMD?
Macular degeneration can cause different symptoms in
different people. Sometimes only one eye loses vision while
the other eye continues to see well for many years. The
condition may be hardly noticeable in its early stages. But
when both eyes are affected, reading and close up work can
In order to view the content, you must install the Adobe Flash Player. Please click here
to get started.
|Dry macular degeneration,
in which the cells of the macula slowly begin to break down, is
diagnosed in 90 percent of the cases. Yellow deposits called "drusen"
form under the retina between the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE)
and Bruch’s membrane, which supports the retina. Drusen deposits are
"debris" associated with compromised cell metabolism in the RPE and
are often the first sign of macular degeneration. Eventually, there
is a deterioration of the macular regions associated with the drusen
deposits resulting in a spotty loss of "straight ahead" vision.
Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels
grow behind the macula, then bleed. There is a breakdown in Bruch’s
membrane, which usually occurs near drusen deposits. This is where
the new blood vessel growth occurs (neovascularization). These
vessels are very fragile and leak fluid and blood (hence ‘wet’),
resulting in scarring of the macula and the potential for rapid,
severe damage. "Straight ahead" vision can become distorted or lost
entirely in a short period of time, sometimes within days. Wet
macular degeneration accounts for approximately 10% of the cases,
however it results in 90% of the legal blindness.
|AMD symptoms include
blurriness, fuzzy vision, wavy lines, blind
spots and/or visual distortions such as:
Straight lines, objects or faces appearing
Doorways, windows or straight lines appear
Objects appearing farther away, smaller or
If you notice any of these symptoms,
you should see us as soon as possible.
What can you or your loved one do if diagnosed with macular
First it is important to modify those environmental risk factors
that we know about. You should:
Detail a low-fat, low cholesterol diet.
If you are post-menopausal, you should consult with your physician
concerning estrogen replacement therapy. This may have a favorable
impact upon cholesterol lipid levels that play a role in worsening
Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
Try to consume at least two servings of leafy dark green vegetables
Do not smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
Eat food and or supplements rich in vitamin E,C and Lutein. Lutein
is a plant antioxidant found in high quantities in spinach, kale and
other dark green, leafy vegetables.