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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Dry AMD

Dry AMD is medically known as strophic macular degeneration. This is the most common type of age related macular degeneration as it accounts for around 85-90% of all reported cases. Dry AMD involves the slow breakdown of the ocular cells in the macula. The macula is a small round, highly pigmented yellow area near the centre of the back of your eye. The break down of these cells causes your vision to become blurred.

What is Dry AMD?

This breakdown of the cells is caused by drusen which are accumulated waste products coming from the retina of your eye. As drusen grow in size they begin to block the steady flow of nutrients to the cells near the retina of your eye causing the cells closes to the retina to become very thin and weak. The overlying macula degenerates and loses its visual functions.

Symptoms of Dry AMD

The symptoms of Dry AMD will develop slowly and gradually get worse over time. As the condition gets worse you will experience slight blurring of your vision, normally in the centre of your eye. Most people will notice this for the first time when they begin to experience difficulty when reading. Just like other eye conditions Dry AMD can affect both of your eyes however in some cases the effects may be more sever in one of your eyes. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you may be developing Dry AMD:

• Blurring of vision
• Straight lines and angles become distorted
• An almost opaque spot in the centre of your vision
• Objects become warped in either shape, colour or size
• Objects moving or disappearing from your vision
• Difficulty in varying light conditions such as dim light or bright sunshine

Who is at risk?

There are a series of factors that may increase your risk of developing Dry AMD:

• Smoking
• High blood pressure
• Long term exposure to bright lights

Treatments

Over time this condition worsens as more and more of your macula becomes affected. If you are experiencing any form of blurred vision we would recommend that you come in and see one of our highly skilled optometrists and advise on how we can help as the condition can be combated with procedures such as intraocular lens surgery.

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