Thanks to the yellow pigmented macula lutea, we have a certain area of sharpest vision in the center of our retina. If this area is damaged or changed pathologically, we talk about macular degeneration, differentiating between the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and juvenile macular degeneration. Macular degeneration permanently changes the function and structure of the macula lutea, which particularly affects our sharp central vision. Two forms of macular degeneration have to be discusses, the “dry” or the “wet” macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Symptoms age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
When suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), straight lines appear to be rippled or wavy, and the visual acuity decreases steadily.
Causes age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Because we have to differentiate between the dry and wet macular degeneration, there are different factors causing age-related macular degeneration.
Dry macular degeneration
Dry macular degeneration affects about 90% of all patients. So-called “drusen” are built between the retinal pigment epithelium and Bruch´s membrane. These deposits impede the reception and the transfer of light stimuli and, thus, impair our vision. Because the dry macular degeneration develops very slowly, it often detected at a later stage.
Wet macular degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is found in 10-15% of all patients, which often results in a quicker vision loss compared to the dry form. It is caused by the new formation of blood vessels in the choriocapillaris, which leak blood, inflammatory cells and fatty liquids that accumulate in the retina and disturb the reception and transfer of light stimuli.
Diagnostics age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
In order to diagnose age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the following examinations are carried out:
- vision test with the Amsler grid
- examination of the anterior segment of the eye
- fluorescein angiography
- optical coherence tomography
Treatment age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
In case of the dry age-related macular degeneration, a healthy lifestyle and nutrition supplements can help. Given wet age-related macular degeneration, intravitreal (inside the eye) administration of drugs is indicated.