Age related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a progressive degeneration of the macula. Macula is the central part of the retina that allows us to see fine details. Many people develop Macular Degeneration as part of body’s natural ageing process. In the past, treatment for ARMD was limited but extensive research on the subject has made its management possible, thereby helping the elderly retain their vision and improve their quality of life.
Forms of Macular Degeneration
There are two types of ARMD:
Dry Macular Degeneration (atrophic):
This form is the more common form of the disease and accounts for 90% of all ARMD. Central geographic atrophy, the “dry” form of advanced AMD, results from atrophy to the retinal pigment epithelial layer below the retina, which causes vision loss through loss of photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the central part of the eye. No medical or surgical treatment is available for this condition, however vitamin supplements with high doses of antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, have been suggested. Vision loss is usually gradual and may take years. Low vision aids may help the patient to do reading and near vision work.

Wet Macular Degeneration (exudative):
This form is characterized by development of abnormal blood vessels beneath the retinal pigment epithelial layer known as choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Neovascular or exudative AMD, the “wet” form of advanced AMD, causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth (choroidal neovascularization) in the choriocapillaris, through Bruch's membrane, ultimately leading to blood and protein leakage below the macula. Bleeding, leaking, and scarring from these blood vessels eventually cause irreversible damage to the photoreceptors and rapid vision loss if left untreated.

The two most common types of age related macular degeneration are: