Age Related Macular Degeneration

New sight test detects early AMD

Researchers based at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology designed a new test that can spot the first stages of sight ...

Mar 29, 2016
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Preventing secondary cataract

Scientists may have found a way to prevent complications from surgery to treat cataract, the world's leading cause of blindness. The study was part-funded by eye research charity Fight for Sight and is published by a research ...

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Debunking digital eyestrain and blue light myths

Nearly 90 percent of adults use digital devices for two or more hours per day, according to The Vision Council's 2016 Digital Eye Strain Report, exposing consumers to blue light that some suggest is dangerous.

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a medical condition which usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms. It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

Starting from the inside of the eye and going towards the back, the three main layers at the back of the eye are the retina, which contains the nerves; the choroid, which contains the blood supply; and the sclera, which is the white of the eye.

The macula is the central area of the retina, which provides the most detailed central vision.

In the dry (nonexudative) form, cellular debris called drusen accumulate between the retina and the choroid, and the retina can become detached. In the wet (exudative) form, which is more severe, blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina, and the retina can also become detached. It can be treated with laser coagulation, and with medication that stops and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels.

Although some macular dystrophies affecting younger individuals are sometimes referred to as macular degeneration, the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD).

Age-related macular degeneration begins with characteristic yellow deposits (drusen) in the macula, between the retinal pigment epithelium and the underlying choroid. Most people with these early changes (referred to as age-related maculopathy) have good vision. People with drusen can go on to develop advanced AMD. The risk is considerably higher when the drusen are large and numerous and associated with disturbance in the pigmented cell layer under the macula. Recent research suggests that large and soft drusen are related to elevated cholesterol deposits and may respond to cholesterol-lowering agents.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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