Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common disease affecting the back of your eye called the retina. It usually only affects your central vision, leaving your peripheral vision unaffected. AMD is divided into two types:
- Dry AMD causes gradual vision loss.
- Wet AMD is less common but can result in significant vision loss in a short time.
AMD is more common in older people, as the name implies. Some risk factors, such as having a family history of AMD and being Caucasian, are beyond your control. Others are preventable, such as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, a saturated-fat-rich diet, being overweight, and having high cholesterol levels.
People who suffer from dry AMD lose their vision gradually. You may notice difficulty seeing with one or both eyes when reading or driving. To see clearly, you may need more light or a magnifying glass. You may notice some blurry spots.
Wet AMD patients may experience sudden vision changes. For example, looking at straight lines, you may notice that they appear bent or wavy.
An eye doctor can use a variety of tests to diagnose AMD. They will first use eye drops to dilate your pupils and examine the back of your eye for drusen, fat, and protein clumps. They can also request additional imaging tests to check for retinal damage and abnormal blood vessels.
AREDS 2 is a vitamin and mineral combination used to treat dry and wet AMD. AREDS 2 supplements contain the right ingredients in the right amounts to help slow the progression of vision loss. Many drugstores and online pharmacies sell AREDS 2 supplements without a prescription.
|Ingredient||Amount in AREDS 2|
|Vitamin C||500 mg|
|Vitamin E||400 IU|
Some people with wet AMD require additional treatments to destroy abnormal blood vessels in the retina and prevent new ones from forming. The following treatments are available:
- medication injections into the eye
- laser therapy on abnormal blood vessels.