Exploring Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

by | Sep 14, 2022 | News

Age-related macular degeneration is a disease of the eye that can blur the central vision. It typically happens when aging causes substantial damage to the macula – the area of the eye that controls straight-ahead, sharpened vision. The macula is actually part of the retina.

AMD is a very common condition, and it is a leading cause of vision loss for older adults. AMD does not cause total blindness, but losing the central vision can make it harder to see faces or read, drive, or do close-up work like fixing things or cooking.

Types and stages

There are two types of AMD: wet and dry. Most people who have AMD have dry AMD. This occurs when the macula of the eye gets much thinner with age. Dry AMD typically progresses slowly over several years.

Wet AMD is  afar less common type of late AMD that typically causes faster loss of vision. Any stage of dry AMD can actually turn into wet AMD; but wet AMD is always a late stage. It occurs when abnormal vessels of blood grow within the back of the eye and damage the macula.


AMD is a progressive disease, meaning symptoms get worse gradually over time.

  • Early dry AMD does not cause any symptoms whatsoever.
  • Intermediate dry AMD means that people will still have no symptoms. Others might notice milder symptoms, like a mild sort of blurriness in their central vision.
  • In late AMD (dry or wet type), many people might notice that straighter lines start to look crooked or wavy. It might also be noticed that there is a blurry area near the very centre of your vision.

Risk factors

Risk of AMD increases the older you get. People aged 55 or older are more likely to have a severe form of AMD. The risk for AMD is going to be higher in people who:

  • Have a genetic history of AMD
  • Caucasian
  • Smoke

The research shows that you can lower your risk of developing AMD by making healthy choices like:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Eating healthier foods


Treatments will depend on the type and stage of AMD. There is currently no active treatment for early AMD, but if you have intermediate AMD in one or both of your eyes then special dietary supplements (minerals and vitamins) might be able to eventually stop it from turning into late-stage AMD. Having late AMD in only one eye means that these supplements might slow down AMD in the other eye.

Other treatments for wet AMD include:

  • Medicines called anti-VEGF drugs that are injected
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

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