Age related macular degeneration
Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is said to be the most common cause of sight loss in people over 60 in the developed world.
With over 500,000 people known with the condition, there are many who do not know what the condition is and how it can affect you.
The macular is a small part of the retina at the back of the eye that is responsible for our central vision, colour vision and fine detail. Central vision is used to see what is directly in front of you; for example, watching the television or reading a book. The painless disease will not lead to total sight loss but it could eventually cause blurry and distorted vision and even a blank patch in the centre of your vision.
There are two different types of ARMD – dry and wet. Dry ARMD is caused by damage to the macula due to a lack of nutrients and a gradual reduction in the macula cells that do not regenerate. This affects 9 in 10 cases and the loss of vision is gradual over many months or years. Wet ARMD causes abnormal blood vessels to develop in the macular which leak, causing scarring and rapid loss of vision, requiring urgent attention.
The exact cause of ARMD is unknown. However, there are a number of increased risk factors that are associated with the development of the disease. Age is the most important factor due to the reduction of cell regeneration. Smokers are 2-3 times more likely to develop macular degeneration; women are more at risk and also if there is a family history. Other possible risk factors are alcohol, sunlight, obesity and high blood pressure.
Wet related degeneration can be treated if caught soon enough, but dry related degeneration currently has no treatment. However, with the right support and knowledge it is manageable.
A lot of research is going into how to prevent and treat this disease. Areas such as radiotherapy, the use of stem cells and drug treatments are all currently being developed and researched but what is particularly interesting is nutrition. As we age, the ability for our body to repair our cells is reduced and prevents them coming under attack by free radicals. Antioxidants can protect us against these effects and can be found in green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. It is also thought that omega 3 can protect us against free radicals as well so including oily fish in your diet is recommended.
Coping with this eye condition can be very hard and upsetting for a lot of people, not knowing how they will adapt to their vision changes. There are support groups and councillors through RNIB and the Macular Society set up for people that need someone to talk to. There are lots of different ways that you can be supported with this disease and carry on living life to the full.
All content on Silversurfers.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Silverhairs.com will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.silversurfers.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silverhairs to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a question of your own, their, "Ask the Expert" service allows you to ask the team of friendly, experienced nurses, pharmacists and midwives about any health topic and they'll get back to you with an answer as soon as they’re able.* So if you have something that’s been bothering you, whether it concerns you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Click below to submit your query online.
* Nurses are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Midwives and pharmacists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm; and Sunday, 8am to 12pm.
Actual response time will depend on the nature of your enquiry and availability of appropriately qualified experts but the team will always aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
Please note that our Expert Help services are there to offer health information and support. They do not diagnose or prescribe, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice given in the context of an individual consultation.
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Preparing your home for Winter - September 17, 2020
- Blackberry Lemon Layer Cake - September 17, 2020
- Funeral plans guarantee so much more than Over 50s policies - September 17, 2020
- If you like radio – you’ll love our money guide podcast series - September 16, 2020
- Would you have a fake lawn in your garden? - September 15, 2020
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!