Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the main cause of irreversible vision loss in older people.

The macula is located in the central area of the retina and is responsible for central vision.

Types

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD):

  • Dry or atrophic form: The most common. There is a thinning and atrophy of the macular area, resulting in a slow and progressive loss of sharpness in the central area of the visual field.
  • Wet or exudative form: Less common, featured by the growth of abnormal vessels that can bleed and affect the macula, leading to rapid loss of vision.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

ARMD causes a loss of central vision that makes everyday activities such as reading, driving, identifying people, etc. quite difficult.
It usually begins in only one eye and at the start it may be unnoticed if both eyes are not examined individually, occluding one eye and observing if the lines are twisted, blurred or even disappear (Amsler grid).

At Castro Ophthalmology Clinic we recommend following a healthy diet, no smoking and having regular eye check-ups from the age of 50 onwards.

Risk factors:

  • Genetics: ARMD is linked to genetics to a considerable extent. At present, there are genetic tests that can establish the risk of suffering from it.
  • Age: it usually appears in people over 55 years of age.
  • Smoking.
  • Environmental factors.
  • Other factors.

Treatment for macular degeneration:

There are currently no effective treatments for dry ARMD, although the administration of antioxidants can sometimes slow its progression.

Wet ARMD is treated with drugs called anti-angiogenic drugs that are administered in the form of intravitreal injections with the aim of stabilising visual acuity.