Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD or AMD)

Age related macular degeneration (ARMD or AMD)

There are two types of ARMD – a dry type and a wet type (non-exudative and exudative respectively).

Symptoms

Gradual loss of sharp vision, altered colour vision, distortion of objects, variation in size of objects (micropsia – the object appears smaller; macropsia – the object appears larger). Sometimes may be asymptomatic and discovered on routine eye examination.

Etiology

Unknown, but associated with old age, family history, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, stress and hypermetropia.

Treatment of “dry” ARMD

No proven treatment is available. Emperically antioxidant vitamins and trace elements are given. Studies have also pointed to benefit in taking Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. Whereas not likely to be harmful this treatment has not been scientifically confirmed to be beneficial.

Eye-drops – Nepaflam and Bromfenac are administered, but they may or may not be beneficial.

Low-vison aids may benefit central vision, specially in cases of bilateral loss of macular function.

Treatment of “wet” ARMD

LASER treatment as early as possible specially in case of treatable neovascular membranes. Timely LASER helps prevent severe vision loss that can occur later. Intra-ocular (intra-vitreal injections of anti-VEGF drugs has also proven beneficial in certain cases of “wet” ARMD or “dry” ARMD going into “wet” stage.