WHAT IS AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD or AMD) affects the tiny area at the centre of your retina known as the macula. The macula has the responsibility to detail ones central vision, allowing us to read and acknowledge faces. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in North America in adults over the age of 55. When one is diagnosed with AMD their centre vision becomes blurry and distorted, while peripheral vision is unaffected.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FORMS?
There are two types of AMD, wet form and the more commonly diagnosed dry form. Dry AMD is the gradual degeneration of the central retinal tissues that makes up the macula, with a slow progression of symptoms. In wet form, there is a sudden leakage or bleeding from weaker blood vessels under the macula. Unlike the dry form, wet AMD progresses rapidly. Dry AMD can over time progress to a Wet AMD diagnosis; however initial wet AMD diagnosis’s accounts for approximately 10 percent of cases.
HOW DO I MANAGE MY CONDITION?
If you are suffering from AMD, there are ways to manage your condition and continue to improve your daily life. Although some vision is corrupted, those suffering from AMD will never go fully blind. There will always be sight available, its up to the diagnosed to understand how to use it.
Focusing on your peripheral vision is key to gaining these benefits. Here is a list of aids to focus on to help AMD affected vision.
1.Better Light – Light is key to being able to see clearly. As one is aging, the amount of light entering ones eye is decreased, causing an affect on ones vision. Instead of straining your eyes in dim light, be sure that the surrounding light around you is the right intensity to aid your sight.
2.Computers – Computer technology is a great aid for some of your everyday needs. Technology can help aid in reading with audio recalling as well as the increase of text size. Whether you are familiar with a computer or not, it is a great tool to consider in managing low vision.
3.Magnification – Your optometrist can prescribe low vision magnifying devices that can enhance your distance vision and reading vision. Although these aids will not restore sight completely, they will allow you to enhance your current vision levels.
If you are an individual that is suffering from Low Vision, AMD, or are someone who wants to take action in AMD prevention, contact your O.D. today!