Macular degeneration is also known as Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), because of the prevalence of the condition in older people.
It is much more common among white people older than 50 and the risk of developing macular degeneration also increases a lot when people smoke, eat badly and have hypertension and high cholesterol. Also when they are very overweight.
Basically though it’s about genetics. If you are white (or have white ancestry), have blue eyes and are 60 years or older you should have a retinal exam and may be an OCT and autofluorescence photo of your retina by an ophthalmologist.
There are two types of AMD; the wet type and the dry type.
Dry Macular Degeneration
90% of all AMD is dry. It is a slowly progressive disease, but can turn into wet at any time. This is why people should use a Amsler Grid test at home regularly to see if there is any progression of the disease.
It is also very important to control hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as stay at a healthy weight.
Eating habits can have an influence on AMD, therefore it is very important to eat lots of spinach, broccoli and yellow and red peppers that are rich in Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Selenium. Your doctor can also prescribe certain vitamins that contain these compounds.
Wet Macular Degeneration
10% of AMD is wet. Wet AMD can progress very quickly into a very serious blinding condition if not treated by anti-vegF injections into the eye by an Opthalmologist.
The treatment for wet AMD is regular injections into the eye. There are 2 types of injections that are often used that will help decrease the progression of the AMD and may even improve vision back to normal in many patients. Keep in mind that there is no cure for AMD yet.