Age Related Macular Degeneration, also called AMD is one of the most common causes of irreversible vision loss in the elderly. Very often, we attribute the decreased vision in people over sixty years to cataract, while AMD may also cause significant vision loss. In fact, some people even consider this decrease in vision to be a natural part of ageing, when it is actually a disease process. AMD can easily be detected by your ophthalmologist during a comprehensive eye evaluation.
What is Age Related Macular Degeneration?
The light-sensitive part at the back of the eye is called the retina, and the macula is the central part of the retina which is responsible for precise central vision. This means that the macula helps you see fine details clearly, and with precision. When the macula is affected by the body’s process, vision gradually becomes fuzzy, and can even result in blindness. This disease, which is one of the most common causes of blindness and loss of vision in the world, is called Age Related Macular Degeneration.
What are the symptoms of AMD?
Age Related Macular Degeneration can easily be picked up by your eye doctor during your routine eye examination, even before symptoms begin. The symptoms of AMD are:
Blurred vision, difficulty in recognizing faces
Dark areas or distortion in your central vision, broken lines, missing alphabets or words during reading
Loss of central vision.
What are the types of AMD?
Age Related Macular Degeneration is of two types:
Dry AMD: In this, the vision loss is more gradual, but there really is no cure for dry AMD.
Wet AMD: this is the more severe form of disease, which progresses rapidly and cause rapid loss of vision. However, this can be treated effectively if diagnosed in time. In this, abnormal blood vessels begin to grow underneath the macula, and may leak fluid or blood. This causes blurring and distortion of vision, which can be very rapidly progressing. About one in ten patients of AMD have wet AMD, and sometimes dry AMD patients can also convert to wet AMD.
What is the treatment for Age Related Macular Degeneration?
Dry AMD: As mentioned before, there is no treatment for dry AMD. Some studies have shown that high doses of eye specific vitamins and micronutrients may decrease the risk of visual loss. So your doctor may prescribe some oral vitamin supplements.
Wet AMD: Wet AMD can be arrested if diagnosed early, with good recovery of vision. The treatment modalities for wet AMD include injections and laser. These arrest the growth of new vessels, and also decrease the leakage of blood and protein from the existing abnormal vessels.
Intravitreal injections of anti- VEGF agents like Lucentis, Avastin, Accentrix
Is the treatment for Age Related Macular Degeneration available in Delhi, India?
Indian eye hospitals are at par with the best hospitals in the world, and have the additional advantage of being affordable, making India a hub of medical tourism. Especially in Delhi, all of the treatment modalities of AMD are available at a fraction of the cost abroad, with equally sophisticated diagnostic and laser machines, and with highly competent retina surgeons. In fact, all of these treatment modalities of AMD are available in most of the high end eye hospitals in Delhi, along with highly trained and acclaimed retina surgeons, as in the rest of India. Of the available eye centers and hospitals, you can choose a doctor best suited to your eye and vision needs.