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Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD): Overview, symptoms & causes

When a person starts losing his central vision in both the eyes, it’s referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which is rather painless but a disturbing condition. Central vision is all that you see when looking straight ahead and AMD is the condition when this particular vision gets increasingly blurred. This means;

  • Colours appear dull and dimmed
  • Facial recognition becomes difficult
  • Difficulty in reading unless you look closely at the text
  • Slow yet gradual loss of sight however, it can be rapid if remained untreated and unexamined by a professional eye doctor in Dubai.

Juvenile macular degeneration

Although rare, macular degeneration may happen amongst the young as well and this is known as juvenile macular degeneration. It can be either inherited or develop as we grow up however, most of the causes are associated to inherited genetic disorder namely;

  • Stargardt’s disease: It starts either during childhood or early adulthood being one of the most common reasons for the development of juvenile macular degeneration.
  • Best’s disease: It’s also referred to as Best’s Vitelliform macular dystrophy in which a child’s born with inherited genetic disorder however vision is affected during late childhood.
  • Sorsby’s dystrophy: It occurs among the individuals between the ages of 30 and 40.

Symptoms

Being painless, many people don’t even realise having age-related macular degeneration until their vision blurs and declines. It means;

  • You’ll have difficulty in seeing fine details as well as in reading and driving which indicates to visual acuity loss.
  • It’s challenging to distinguish between faces against the background that is contrast sensitivity loss.
  • Pictures/images, faces and written text becomes distorted in the centre most commonly linked with wet age-related macular degeneration.

Since peripheral (side vision) isn’t affected, glasses would be ineffective in correcting the blurry central vision. Both the eyes are eventually affected however initially; you’ll notice the problem only in one eye.

Causes

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs due to a problem in the macula which is the spot at the retinal centre and rather part of the eye (the nerve tissue lining the rear side of the eye). Macula is where incoming light rays are focused which allow you to see things clearly along with their details. As we age, macular function declines thereby leading to this specific anomaly.

Risk factors

A number of factors increase the risk of macular degeneration. These are categorised as;

  • Age

It’s apparent due to the very term of the anomaly. Most of the people on reaching their 50s or above develop macular degeneration. A research concluded that every one of ten specimen show symptoms of AMD.

  • Family history

AMD has been known to run in families which means if any of your siblings, parents or forefathers have been diagnosed, the genes are likely to transfer thus causing the anomaly in you as well.

  • Smoking

Smokers are more susceptible to develop AMDs and their vision declines four-times faster than non-smokers.

Conclusion

Whether AMD or any other vision anomaly, immediately contact a professional eye doctor in Dubai!

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