Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) occurs progressively when the macula, which forms part of the retina, becomes damaged. It is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Australia. Early on ARMD might not cause symptoms, however as it advances the disease can result in vision distortion or blurred central vision.
ARMD generally occurs in people aged over 50, however other forms of macular degeneration can occur at any age. The two types of ARMD are dry ARMD, which results in a gradual loss of central vision, and wet ARMD, which can lead to a sudden change in central vision. Up to 15 per cent of people with dry ARMD develop wet ARMD, so it is essential that patients with dry ARMD see us urgently, as early detection is vital to a better outcome.
Our Lions Eye Institute retinal specialists have extensive experience in treating macular degeneration. They will initially review a patient’s family and medical history and then conduct a range of imaging and photography tests, such as optical coherence tomography and fluorescein angiography, to examine the macula.
Wet ARMD is treated by targeting the blood vessels that grow abnormally into the retina, through therapies including the injection of drugs into the anaethetised eye; photodynamic therapy (a combination of drug and laser treatment); and laser treatment. There are no medical treatments for dry ARMD, however a healthy lifestyle can both reduce the risk of macular degeneration and slow its progression.
At the Lions Eye Institute, our clinicians are leaders in their fields. All sub-specialty trained, they provide our patients with the best possible care, using state-of-the-art equipment to help patients achieve a better quality of life.