How Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is treated
Your eye surgeon will undertake a careful investigation of both eyes, using eye drops to dilate the pupils. Detailed tests are used to image the macular, and may include photography and retinal scans.
You may also be asked to focus on an Amsler Grid; the pattern of this grid resembles a draughtsboard. You will cover one eye and stare at a black dot in the centre of the grid. While staring at the dot, you may notice that the straight lines in the pattern appear wavy or that some of the lines are missing.
These examinations will enable your consultant to make an accurate diagnosis and prognosis for the effects of the condition on your central vision, and to propose an appropriate treatment plan to you.
In many cases the changes in sight will be mild and patients retain useful central vision for many years. Treatment for patients with Dry AMD is therefore largely supportive and aimed at helping those affected to maximise their central vision through the provision of spectacles and magnifiers.
New treatments available for Wet AMD are increasingly providing more positive outcomes, whilst research is ongoing. These treatments include laser surgery to seal leaking blood vessels and medication injected into the eye under local anaesthetic that prevents leaking from blood vessels beneath the retina.
In addition, some The Eye Commission consultants are performing surgery which enables the damaged retina to be replaced with an adjacent piece of healthy retina.
In the U.K. an important network of support services are available for those whose central vision is lost, including support at home through social services and locally based charities. A certificate of visual impairment may allow access to these services and, if appropriate, can be arranged by your consultant.