There are two types of AMD. Most people have the dry form. With this form, you will experience a gradual loss of your central vision. There is no medication or treatment for dry AMD at this time, but some people benefit from vitamin therapy. If you have dry AMD, ask your ophthalmologist if you should be taking vitamins.
Wet or exudative macular degeneration affects about 10% of people with macular degeneration. With this condition, new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak fluid or blood. Vision loss with wet AMD is usually faster and more noticeable than it is with the dry form. There are treatments available for this form of AMD, and the earlier it is treated, the better the chances of preserving your vision.
There are many risk factors for AMD. These include a family history of AMD, an overactive immune system, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol levels. It's important to try to reduce your risk of developing AMD by controlling these factors. Studies have also shown that eating dark leafy greens and brightly colored fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of developing AMD, so be sure to eat your veggies!
The retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. It contains special types of cells to help convert light rays into nerve impulses that travel to the brain and let us interpret the images we see.
Under normal conditions, the retina is held in place against the back of the eye. When the retina pulls away from the back of the eye, it is known as a retinal detachment. The retina does not work when it is not attached, and your vision will become blurry.
A retinal detachment can be caused by changes in the vitreous gel, the substance that fills your eyeball. As we age, the vitreous can change shape and pull away from the retina, and it may pull a piece of the retina with it. Inflammation and swelling or nearsightedness may also cause retinal detachments.
Risk factors for retinal detachments include being very nearsighted or having a family history of retinal problems. Retinal detachments are serious, and they will cause blindness unless treated right away with surgery. Even with surgical treatment, some retinal detachments cannot be fixed, and you may be left with permanent vision loss. It is important to call your eye doctor as soon as you have any changes in your vision, especially if you see flashing lights or floating spots.
Retinopathy of Prematurity - a condition where abnormal blood vessels grow on the retina. It occurs in a small percentage of premature babies.
Retinitis Pigmentosa - a group of genetic disorders that causes a slow loss of vision, ultimately resulting in blindness.
Hypertensive Retinopathy - a condition resulting damage to the retina due to high blood pressure.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans over 60. The macula is a small area in the retina, located at the back of your eye, and it is responsible for your central vision, letting you clearly see small details. With AMD, the cells in this area start to die, leaving you with blurriness, dark areas, or distortion in your central vision.
There are many retinal diseases that can cause visual loss, including diabetes, macular degeneration, retinal detachments, and many others.