Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

A chronic, degenerative condition affecting central vision

What is AMD?

There are two types of AMD: Dry AMD and Wet AMD

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the number one cause of sight loss in Ireland for those aged over 50. More than 100,000 people in Ireland aged over 50 are living with AMD. The earlier AMD is detected, the sooner it can be treated to reduce its progression.

Symptoms of AMD include

  • Seeing wavy or distorted lines instead of straight lines.
  • Seeing a blurred spot (or spots) in the centre of your vision.
  • Gaps or dark spots (like a smudge on glasses) appearing in your vision.
  • Being more sensitive to light.
  •  The symptoms of AMD progress faster in people with wet AMD.

         Video from www.aao.org

Dry AMD

  • Dry AMD is an eye disease that can affect your eyes as you get older.
  • In dry AMD the natural pigment (RPE) under the centre part of the retina (the macula) gets thin and yellow spots appear.  The yellow spots are called drusen.
  • The thin pigment and drusen combined are called dry AMD.
  • Dry AMD is the most common form of AMD, causing 85% to 90% of cases, it develops slowly, and it may eventually lead to loss of central vision.
  • Taking oral carotenoid supplements containing lutein (10mg), zeaxanthin (2mg) and meso-zeaxanthin (10mg)
    can slow down the progression of dry AMD by increasing the macular pigment levels.

Wet AMD

In 15% of people with dry AMD fluid forms in or under the central retina. 

  • The fluid comes from small areas of new blood vessels (neovascularisation) from the deeper blood layer in the eye wall, the choroid. Wet AMD always develops in people who have existing dry AMD
  • Wet AMD can cause rapid loss of central vision which can be permanent

How is wet AMD treated?

The treatment for wet AMD is injections of an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medicine into the eye.

The injections are done in an eye clinic with anaesthetic drops.

The treatment consists of a loading dose of 3 injections 4 weeks apart and then an assessment to see if the wet AMD has responded.

If the wet AMD responds to treatment the person likely will need injections for the rest of their lives, but the interval between injections can often (but not always) be extended to more than 4 weeks. An implant is being developed that is put in the eye as a surgical procedure which can be re-filled at much longer intervals.

Laser surgery is sometimes used to treat some types of wet AMD.

REMEMBER AMD will not cause a total loss of vision. If you have AMD, help and support is available to maximise your remaining vision and to help you maintain an active and independent life. Early detection is important

Frequently asked questions on AMD

Chris White, the Group Chief Executive of the National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI), and ophthalmologist Mark Cahill discuss the ways wet AMD can impact your vision.

 

Video from www.amd.ie courtesy of ©️ 2021 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd

Chris White, the Group Chief Executive of the National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI), and ophthalmologist Mark Cahill of Progressive Vision discuss if wet AMD could affect both eyes.

 

Video from www.amd.ie courtesy of ©️ 2021 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd

Chris White, the Group Chief Executive of the National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI), and ophthalmologist Mark Cahill discuss the ways wet AMD can impact independence.

Video from www.amd.ie courtesy of ©️ 2021 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd

Chris White, the Group Chief Executive of the National Council for the Blind in Ireland, and ophthalmologist Mark Cahill discuss whether wet AMD is hereditary.

Video from www.amd.ie courtesy of ©️ 2021 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd

Other eye care services.

Age–related macular degeneration (AMD)

A chronic, degenerative condition affecting central vision.

Cataract

A cataract is when your eye’s natural lens core becomes cloudy. This happens as we get older as the natural proteins

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the disease of eye where eye pressure is too high for your eye, that damages your eye’s optic nerve.

Vitreo-retinal surgery

Vitreo-Retinal eye surgery refers to a group of advanced, highly delicate procedures that are done deep inside the eye’s.

General ophthalmology

Light passes through the cornea and lens of each eye.  The cornea and lens focus light on to the back of the eye.

Diabetic eye disease

People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels change the blood vessels.

Retinal vein occlusion

Arteries and veins carry blood throughout your body, including your eyes.

Cornea

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped tissue on the front of your eye that forms the front of the anterior chamber of the eye.

Paediatric ophthalmology

At our specialist paediatric clinic, we work with children in a fun way. This can make eye tests and treatments