Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition that can affect your eyes as you get older and is one of the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment in the over-50s age group in Ireland. AMD affects the macula which is a small part of the eye that is responsible for central vision which allows you to see detail. AMD usually starts in one eye and is highly likely to affect the other eye at a later stage.
There are two forms of AMD. There are dry AMD is most common form of the condition and develops slowly, eventually leading to loss of central vision. Wet AMD is caused by leaky blood vessels inside the eye. It is less common than Dry AMD but can cause a more rapid loss of vision. The exact causes of AMD are still unknown.
Fundus photographs are carried out by the optician with every eye exam and can help detect any changes in the eyes vascular system and mucula area. Any early signs or precursors to AMD can be advised on by the opticians such as diet, lifestyle changes and self monitoring. There can be a history of the condition in certain familes if family members have suffered with sight loss in the past, then it would advised to have an eye exam yearly.