AMD or age-related macular degeneration is a condition that negatively impacts the middle portion of your vision. In general, it initially affects individuals between the ages of 50 and 60 years old. Without proper treatment, your condition will get worse in time.
This could occur gradually throughout a couple of days, or quickly over just several weeks or months. While AMD does not lead total blindness, it could make daily tasks such as recognising faces or images and reading more challenging.
Types of AMD: Dry vs Wet
Approximately 90% of individuals who have AMD have dry AMD, which usually doesn’t have symptoms. So many individuals who have it don’t actually know that they do have it. This is why it’s immensely crucial to undergo eye exams regularly, especially as you age.
For around 10% of individuals with dry AMD, their condition will progress to wet AMD. With this type of AMD, abnormal blood vessels develop on the macula, which is a part of your retina that’s situated in the back part of your eye and impacts the central vision.
Issues with central vision could make daily activities like watching TV, reading and driving, among others, extremely difficult.
How to Manage and Monitor Dry AMD
While dry AMD doesn’t really cause symptoms, you still need to manage it properly. If you have gotten a dry AMD diagnosis, you can do a couple of things to keep your condition in check. For starters, you should keep track of your vision and inform your doctor of any changes.
You should likewise have an eye checkup at least every six months. Speak to your doctor to determine whether you could benefit from eye vitamins, and if so, what vitamins you need to take. Lastly, quit smoking if you haven’t yet, as smoking can make your condition worse.
How to Manage and Treat Wet AMD
If your dry AMD worsens and advances to wet AMD, you should now seek to monitor it actively and treat it. The following are things you can do to manage and treat your condition effectively:
- Obtain regular treatment. The most common treatment for wet AMD is VEGF or anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy. This involves injections into the eyes.
- Make certain to take eye vitamins even if only one of your eyes is afflicted with wet AMD. The reason for this is that if your other eye only has dry AMD, taking eye vitamins regularly will help lower the chances that it will progress to wet AMD.
- Consider utilising vision aids. You can buy smart glasses and magnifiers to help you see things more clearly. You can likewise make certain adjustments to your home so that you can see contrast more clearly. Also, consider speaking to your doctor regarding low-vision rehabilitation.
Fortunately, there are many tools and monitoring techniques you can use for treating and managing AMD. You just have to learn which ones are right for you to help you preserve your independence for as long as possible.