INTERNATIONAL
SPECIALIST EYE CENTRE MALAYSIA
国际眼科中心
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Q: What is Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?
A:
AMD is a disease associated with advancing age, characterized by progressive loss of central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. The changes in AMD occur at the macula, the part of the eye that allows a person to see fine detail and sharp central vision. AMD causes no pain. AMD is the third leading cause of vision loss after cataract and diabetic retinopathy in our elderly population.

There are two forms of AMD – Wet AMD and Dry AMD

 

Q: What is Dry AMD?
A:
Dry AMD is characterized by deposition of drusen under the retina causing the photoreceptors (light-sensitive cells in the macula) to slowly break down. This will be presented as gradual blurring of central vision in the affected eye. As the disease advances, the patient will have difficulty recognizing faces, and may need more light for reading and other tasks. Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye still sees well.

 

Q: What is Wet AMD?
A:
Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels called choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels are very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid lead to swelling of the macula, causing damage to the macula occur very rapidly.

An early symptom of wet AMD is that straight lines appear wavy. This will then progress to sudden deterioration of central vision.

The Dry AMD is more common than Wet AMD. However, the most common cause of severe visual loss in AMD is due to the development of CNV (Wet AMD).

 

Q: How does AMD affect the vision?
A:
A person with AMD will present with blurring of central vision. The blurring of vision can either be gradual in those patients with Dry AMD, or it could happen suddenly in those presenting with Wet AMD characterized by choroidal neovascularisation (CNV).

 

Q: Can I become completely blind from AMD?
A:
No. AMD changes occur at the macular, hence it causes gradual visual loss affecting the central vision. A person with AMD will have difficulty recognizing faces or looking at the time of the clock; however, he would still be able to move about as his peripheral vision is still good. Sudden deterioration of central vision signifies development of Wet AMD.

 

Q: What is Polypoidal Choroidovasculopathy (PCV)?
A:
PCV is considered to be a variant of macular degeneration that is often seen in Asians. Up to half of all age-macular related degeneration among these populations has a component of PCV. Essentially PCV has abnormalities in the blood vessels in the choroidal layer of the eye, making it vulnerable to leak fluid into the retina or bleed suddenly. The leakages and bleeding produce a central blind spot in the affected eye.

 

Q: How is PCV treated?
A:
There is no consensus as the best treatment for PCV, but many retinal specialists prefer to treat with photodynamic therapy with or without combination with antiVEGF injections such as Lucentis/Avastin.

 
 
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