Age -Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

What is the Macula?

The retina is the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye, that sends visual images to the brain.The central part of the retina is the macula, and it’s the most important part of the retina responsible for central vision.Eyesight from the macula is important for driving, reading, recognition of faces and similar tasks.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the name given to a group of eye disorders that cause a progressive loss of central vision, leaving the peripheral or side vision intact.

Macular degeneration, also known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness and severe vision loss in Australia, and is responsible for 50% of all cases of blindness.

Macular degeneration is usually related to ageing and most frequently affects people over the age of 50. However it is not a normal or inevitable consequence of ageing, certain forms of the disease can also affect younger people.

Macular degeneration is progressive and painless. Although it can lead to legal blindness is does not result in total or “black” blindness.

What are the types of AMD?

There are two types of AMD:

  1. Dry
  2. Wet.

1. Dry AMD

Dry Macular Degeneration is the most common form and occurs 90% of the time. Although there is no treatment, diet and lifestyle including the use of an appropriate supplement can help to slow the diseases progression and vision loss.

A small proportion of patients with dry AMD can convert into the wet form, resulting in sudden vision loss.

2. Wet AMD

The wet form is characterised by a sudden loss or change of vision and is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing under the retina.

The best treatment for the wet form is intravitreal injections (link to the required page on website)

Of Anti- VEGF drugs into the middle of the eye. These drugs are designed to stop the abnormal blood vessels from growing, and therefore reducing scarring, bleeding and swelling.

These injections are initially given every 4 weeks and many patients will require ongoing treatment to maintain their vision and prevent further vision loss.

For more information please visit the Macular Disease Foundation Australia website