Age Related macular Degeneration (ARMD), commonly known to patients as “wear and tear” of the retina, is the most common cause of visual loss in the elderly. It affects the macular region of the retina, which is the area that gives us the clear straight ahead vision necessary for functioning in everyday life.
There are two types of ARMD:
- Dry ARMD – The dry form of the macular degeneration is by far the most common. It is slow to progress. Symptoms include a gradual loss of detail vision.
- Wet ARMD – The wet form is more visually damaging, however, much more rare than the dry form.
- Positive family history of ARMD.
- Smoking – 2.5 times greater chance of developing ARMD than non-smokers.
- Nutrition -see below.
- UV light exposure increases risk of development of ARMD.
A patient with ARMD may be aware of some of the following:
- Straight lines look wavy.
- Distinct shapes are blurry.
- Colours look dim.
- Words appear blurred or difficult to read.
- Dark or blank areas block the centre of your vision.
- There appears to be a fog in the centre of your vision.
Modern treatment methods include anti-vEGF therapy(Lucentis/Avastin) for wet ARMD, while dietary supplements such as Macushield/Lutein are regarded as beneficial for dry ARMD.