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Science Technology

Age-related macular degeneration, a condition affecting older people

Age-related macular degeneration, a condition affecting older people

Kolkata, Sep 6 (UNI) Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition affecting

older people and involves the loss of the person's central field of vision.

It occurs when the macular (or central) retina develops degenerative lesions. It is

thought that circulatory insufficiency, with reduction in the blood flow to the macular

area, also plays a part. Several forms of AMD exist.

Globally, AMD ranks third as a cause of blindness after cataract and glaucoma. It

is the primary cause in industrialized countries. The main risk factor is ageing.

Other risk factors may include the use of tobacco, genetic tendencies, the degree

of pigmentation (with light coloured eyes being at higher risk), arterial hypertension,

the ultraviolet rays, and consumption of a non-balanced diet.

The early and intermediate stages of AMD usually start without symptoms. Only a

comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect AMD.

The eye exam may includes: Visual acuity test. This eye chart measures how well

you see at distances.

Dilated eye exam: Your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to widen

or dilate the pupils. This provides a better view of the back of your eye. Using a special

magnifying lens, he or she then looks at your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD

and other eye problems.

Amsler grid: Your eye care professional also may ask you to look at an Amsler grid.

Changes in your central vision may cause the lines in the grid to disappear or appear

wavy, a sign of AMD.


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