Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Your eye health is just as important as your vision to us at KODAK Lens. One of the conditions your standard eye test will check for is Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is an eye condition that affects your central vision. Usually, your peripheral vision is unaffected by AMD. It is estimated that more than 600,000 people in the UK are living with AMD.


The macula is a small area in the centre of the retina that is responsible for seeing fine details clearly.

People with AMD may find that the effect on their central vision can make it more challenging to do everyday tasks, such as reading or telling the time on a clock.

If you experience any sudden changes in your vision or eye health, contact your optometrist or your GP immediately. If this is not possible, visit your nearest A&E.

What are the symptoms of AMD?

Symptoms of AMD can include:

  • Increased difficulty reading, even when you are wearing your glasses
  • Straight lines appear wavy or distorted
  • Objects in front of you change shape, size or colour
  • Colours appear faded
  • Increased difficulty recognising people’s faces

What types of AMD are there?

There are two main types of AMD:

Dry AMD

Dry AMD is the most common type of AMD which develops very slowly and causes a progressive change in your central vision.

The cause of dry AMD is when the layers of cells underneath the retina begin thinning with age. Dry AMD can cause the presence of small yellow-white deposits called drusen, which collects underneath the retina.

In its advanced stages dry AMD can cause a blank spot in your central vision, which over time can make it difficult to recognise people’s faces or to read.

Wet AMD

Wet AMD is the most serious form of AMD that can worsen very quickly and has the potential to cause sudden loss of vision within weeks or months.

Wet AMD is caused when the cells within the macula (the central area of the retina,a thin layer which lines the back of the eye) stop working correctly, causing the body to develop abnormal blood vessels to grow at the back of the eyes.

Treatments including eye injections and light treatment are available for treating wet AMD if it is caught early. The treatments are aimed at stopping your vision getting worse.

How can you prevent AMD?

There are some easy lifestyle changes that can be made to keep your eyes healthy and to help reduce the risk of developing either dry or wet AMD.

  • Giving up smoking or not smoking
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing your blood pressure
  • Protecting your eyes from UV rays
  • Taking vitamin supplements

If you have any questions about AMD, or have noticed a change in your eye health or vision you can our optician finder to locate your nearest KODAK Lens Optician and book an eye test today.

Sources: http://www.aop.org.uk/, http://www.nhs.uk, http://www.rnib.org.uk/, http://www.lookafteryoureyes.org, http://www.macularsociety.org/, http://www.moorfields.nhs.uk

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