Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is an eye condition which affects the central part of your retina which is called the macula. It causes changes to your central vision which can make some everyday tasks difficult. ARMD is the commonest cause of vision loss in people aged over 50 years old.
ARMD is often termed ‘dry’ and ‘wet’. The pathological process is different between the two. In the wet ARMD, there is a proliferation of abnormal blood vessels under the macula. In dry ARMD, there is the collection of small yellow deposits within the retina called druse, and degeneration (atrophy) of the retinal tissue at the macula. The dry form is more common, but the wet form is usually more sudden and devastating to the vision.
Scientist are still unaware what causes ARMD that’s why it’s difficult to find the cause of this. But there are some contributing factors:
Age – the older you are the more likely you are to suffer from ARMD
Family History – usually gets passed through generations
Smoking – studies show that smokers are four times more likely to develop ARMD
Ethnicity – studies have shown that white and Chinese people are at the highest risk
Alcohol – has found to increase the risk of developing the condition
Sunlight – if you have been exposed to a lot of sunlight during your life studies have show this increases your chance of ARMD
Obesity – your chance of developing ARMD is higher if your BMI is higher than 30
Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure – these condition are also known to increase your chances of ARMD.
Dry ARMD symptoms
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms you may want to come and see us so our optometrist can carry out a thorough examination and refer you to the correct clinic.
Text seems blurry
You need a brighter light when reading
You struggle to recognize people’s faces
Colours lose their vibrancy
Your vision appears less defined or hazy.
Wet ARMD symptoms
If you experience any of these symptoms you should book an appointment with our senior optometrist immediately.
Blind spots – these will usually be in the centre of your vision and get larger
Visual distortions for eg a straight line will look wavy
Hallucinations – seeing animals, people or shapes that aren’t there.