Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is an important cause of vision loss in people over 50 years or older, It involves damage to the macula which is a small but extremely important area located at the center of the retina responsible for the ability to see fine details clearly. A person with AMD loses the abiIif:y to perceive fine details clearly both up close and at a distance.
There are two common types of AMD. Most people (about 90 /o) have a form of AMD called ‘atrophic’ or ’dry’ AND, which develops when the tissues of macula get thinner with age. Dry AMD usually causes a slow loss of vision.
A second, smaller group of people (about t0%) have a more serious condition called ‘exudative’ or ‘wet’ AND. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, Choroidal neovascular membrane (CNVM), These unhealthy vessels leak blood and fluid, which can scar the macula. For patient with wet AMD, vision loss may be rapid and severe.
Detailed examination includes a dilated fundus examination, slit lamp biomicroscopy besides recording the visual acuity and intraocular pressure. Following tests are commonly done as indicated
- 1} Intra vitreal injections— Anti VEGF injections are the mainstay of treatment for Wet AND.
ACCENTRIX (LUCENTIS), an Anti VEGF injection is the most commonly used approved injection for this condition and is very effective in regressing the oedemaOther similar drugs such as EYELEA and AVASTIN are also used for the same conditions
These injections are usually given as a loading dose of 3 consecutive monthly injections and may need to be repeated in case of a persistence or recurrence of leakage. The timing and usage would be decided and recommended by the surgeon. Follow up schedule would be recommended on a monthly basis initially and then reduced once the condition is stable.
Low vision aids such as magnifying glasses etc. may be helpful in patient who have a severe degree of visual impairment. The idea is to magnify whatever one is trying to read. TABLETS such a IPADS, Galaxy tabs etc are also used to achieve the purpose of magnifying text related to various daily activities of reading related to books or news items
THE OTHER EYE : Remember this is a bilateral condition and a similar pathology might occur in the other eye also. Best visual recovery is achieved if the condition is detected at the earliest and timely injections are given. Hence always call for an early check up in case you have any symptoms related to blurring or distortion in the other eye also.