Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with ageing. It is a degenerative condition that affects the macula and causes gradual loss of central vision.
Macula is the area on the retina responsible for central vision. It has the maximum concentration of color sensitive cone cells which help clear high contrast vision with color distinction. The disease is now a leading cause of blindness in the developed world in persons aged over 65yrs.
The Indian prevalence of the disease has been reported as 1.1% from South India and 4.7% in North India.
Among the risk factors of AMD, age plays a major role. The risk increases with increasing age. Other risk factors being white race, smoking, obesity, sunlight exposure, hypertension and genetic factors.
The patient with AMD visits an eye doctor with the complaints of difficulty in night vision, decreased contrast, decreased saturation of colors, distortion of objects and a dark spot in the center of visual field.
AMD is differentiated into two types: Dry or non-exudative AMD and Wet or exudative AMD. The dry type is the more prevalent form, the wet type constitutes only 10% but it is the predominant form of vision loss.
Treatment modalities of wet AMD are laser, photodynamic therapy and injections into the eye. Injections commonly used are Anti-VEGF (avastin, leucentis and macugen) and steroids (Triamcinolone acetonide). Unfortunately none of these treatments are a cure for AMD. The disease may progress despite treatment.