What is AMD?
AMD is a common condition that affects many of us later in life. Some can get it as early as their 40s but it is more common in our 70s, 80s and 90s. AMD affects the macula. The macula is responsible for our central vision. The peripheral vision is generally still good but try to imagine going through life only using your side vision. It is very difficult and can be very discouraging to patients as they may not be able to see the face of a dear loved one or read what is right in front of them.
What can be done for AMD?
There are some surgical treatments for wet AMD - that's AMD that has involved a bleed or fluid leak in the back of the eye affecting the macula. For dry AMD there is no treatment. Both conditions - dry and wet AMD - can exist together. And if you have one form, it doesn't mean you won't get the other form. There are some supplements that have been shown to reduce the risk of progression of AMD but it is not certain to work for everyone. Vision loss can be managed by an optometrist or in the low vision clinic at a local hospital. Magnification in glasses can help to enlarge the image but may not necessarily make it clearer. There is a home monitoring test that can be done. This is called an Amsler Grid and should be given to you by your eyecare provider. It can also be downloaded as a PDF online.
Will I develop AMD?
There is a known link of AMD and...
How do I know if I have AMD?
Having routine eye examinations are key to learning if your optometrist suspects early AMD. If you have sudden changes to your vision, get seen right away. With AMD, you may experience...
Why would you see "people" who aren't there with AMD?
There is a condition called Charles-Bonnet Syndrome. The best way to describe it is that with AMD vision loss, you don't really get the whole picture of what is going on around you due to lack of central vision. You may not get all the pieces to the puzzle so to speak. And what the brain doesn't see, it begins to make up. Blind persons can also suffer from this condition. My grandmother lost her sight to AMD and began to see people in her home that were not there. Some of my family wrongly assumed she may have developed dementia and she became very negatively affected by the experience.
Is there any support for AMD in Newbury and West Berkshire?
While the eye consultant works to "fix" the condition and the optometrist or opticians work to give you the best vision with glasses, many people with AMD feel helpless as they just may want some extra explanation and support. Fortunately, Newbury has a wonderful support group for people with AMD. Newbury and West Berkshire Macular Society meet monthly.
For more information visit their website at https://www.macularsociety.org/groups/newbury-west-berkshire-support-group
To find out if you have AMD or any other health condition that could be sight-threatening, book in for a comprehensive eye examination. Phone 01635 528844.
Dr Valarie Jerome
Writing and sharing interesting topics affecting patients in their daily life, our practice news and the profession of optometry.