The macula is the core portion of the retina responsible for clear and defined central vision. One of the primary causes of irreversible sight loss in those over the age of 60 is the degradation of the macula.
TYPES OF AMD
1) Non-Exudative or Dry AMD
This is the most frequent type of AMD, accounting for 90% of cases. The nerve function deteriorates slowly and gradually.
2) Exudative or Wet AMD
This accounts for 10% of AMD cases and can result in irreversible vision loss. In certain cases, vision can quickly degenerate over a matter of days. It is caused by the formation of abnormal leaky vessels or a membrane underneath the retinal layer. They have the potential to bleed or leak liquids, proteins, or fats. This can result in retinal layer separation and loss of vision. Scarring over the macula may result in the latter stages.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Dry AMD can cause a progressive loss of central vision over time. Individuals may not realise they have this until the condition has progressed to the point where their central vision becomes fuzzy or distorted.
Wet AMD can cause a quick and significant loss of vision. Distorted vision or a shadow across the central vision may also occur. The vision loss can be severe.