Types of Age Related Macular Degeneration.

ARMD occurs when the retinal pigment epithelium, the insulating layer between the retina and layer of blood vessels behind the retina (choroid) stops functioning efficiently. In the case of dry macular degeneration the nerve cells of the retina degenerate. This is the commonest form of armd. The retina appears to have degenerated in certain areas and looks healthy in others. Dame to the macula is permanent. With dry armd the disease is slowly progressive. The rate of the progress may be extremely slow.

Wet macular degeneration is much less common. It coccurs when abnormal blood vessels develop under the retina and leak fluid or bleed under the retina. The fluid eventually disappears but the central vision is permanently damaged. There are other macular diseases and degenerations that rarely occur in younger patients. Some of these conditions are genetic, while others can be due to infections and inflammations or underlying conditions such as diabetes.


There is as yet no outright cure for armd, but some treatments may delay its progression or even improve vision.

The treatment for armd depends on whether the disease is in its early stage, dry form or in the more advanced, wet form.

There is currently no proven treatment for dry macular degeneration, however in some people with the condition, supplements containing vitamins , lutein or certain trace elements such as zinc or selenium, may slow the progress of the disease.

The treatment for wet macular degeneration is aimed at stopping abnormal blood vessel growth. The treatment can include the usage of laser or an injection to seal or shrink leaky blood vessels and inhibit their growth.

The causes of armd are not completely understood. The mopst common identified causes that may play a role are:

  • Genetically inherited tendency for the condition.
  • Sun exposure over many years.
  • Hypertension
  • Oxidative stress.
  • Dietary factors.
  • stargardt's disease.
  • Cardiovascular status.
  • Race.

ARMD is more likely to be found in Caucasians than in people of African descent over age 55.

People who have family history of macular degeneration or who experience any vision problems should have regular eye exams after the age of 45. This will enable early diagnosis of the disease and make the few treatments that are available effective.

Macular degeneration cannot be prevented but the onset or progression may be delayed by:

  • Not smoking and avoiding cigarrete smoke.
  • Avoiding excessive contact with ultra-violet light.
  • Proper nutrition
  • Regular exercise

The first symptomes of armd are usually visual distortion of straight lines and difficulties in reading, recognition of faces and other fine-focus visual tasks. Many armd sufferers are also sensitive to bright sunlight.

  • Blurred vision
  • Central scotomas(shadow or missing areas of vision)
  • Distorted vision
  • Trouble discerning colours
  • Slow recovery of visual function after exposure to bright light.
  • A loss in contrast sensitivity

There are two ways armd are treated nowadays. Both of these treatments modalities are for wet armd. The first is with a cool laser taht is aimed at the abnormal blood vessels after a photosensitizing agent has been injected intravenously.

The Day Of The Surgery:

More commonly armd is treated with an injection into your eyeball. This puts the medicine into direct contact with the blood vessel in the wet armd. You will usually receive three injections every 4 - 6 weeks.