What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a disorder of the central visual area of the retina known as the macula. It usually affects elderly people and occasionally runs in families. There are two types of ARMD: a dry form that is usually only slowly progressive and a wet form that can rapidly result in worsening vision.
As it is a disorder of the central vision, patients with ARMD have difficulty reading and performing fine detailed tasks. As the disease progresses, they may have difficulty seeing faces. Usually, most patients maintain peripheral vision. In the wet type of macular degeneration, new blood vessels grow under the macula. These can leak blood and fluid and lead to deterioration of vision and eventually scar tissue.
There are several drugs approved for the treatment of wet macular degeneration. These drugs blocks the molecule VEGF (vasoactive endothelial growth factor) that promotes wet ARMD. The treatment is administered by intraocular injection. A series of treatments is usually required to stabilise or improve the vision.
It is also recommended to use an Amsler grid to monitor your vision at home. Be at your normal reading distance, with glasses if you usually use. Close one eye looking at the central black dot. If any of the lines on the grid appear wavy, fuzzy, dim or are missing schedule an appointment urgently, repeat with the other eye.
For a consultation, diagnosis and further advice on Macular Degeneration, please contact us on (07) 3217 7399 to make an appointment with Dr Conrad.
See examples of Amsler Grid abnormalities: