Behind glaucoma and cataracts, AMD, or Age-related Macular Degeneration is one of the major causes of vision loss for Canadians over the age of 65. The macula itself is a small portion of your retina that handles the “straight ahead” portion of vision by using a tight group of cone-shaped that absorb light along their length.
Depending on which type of macular degeneration that is occurring, two differing sets of symptoms may present themselves.
For Dry AMD, the following symptoms may present over a long period of time, usually over the course of a few years:
For Wet AMD, the following symptoms usually present in a short period of time, in the range of months to a year:
At this point in time, there is no known cure for AMD, as there are only a finite number of macular cells in the retina, and once damage has begun, it is irreversible. Delayed onset can be managed with a combination of diet, including proper nutrition and supplementation, as well as lifestyle choices such as smoking, obesity, and exercise.
Common treatments include vitamin infused eye drops, oral supplementation, and vision therapy to learn to cope with any vision loss once it begins to occur.