Age Related Macular Degeneration is one of the leading causes of severe, irreversible vision loss in people. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. In a normal eye, the central image is formed in the Macula and the retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. The disease develops as a person ages and therefore it is referred to as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Although macular degeneration is almost never a totally blinding condition, it can be a source of significant visual disability.
The "wet" form of macular degeneration is typically characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels from the choroid underneath the macula and is called choroidal neovascularization. The blood vessels leak blood and there is seepage of fluid into the retina, causing distortion of vision. This distortion causes straight lines to look wavy and can also result in blind spots and loss of central vision. These abnormal blood vessels form a scar, leading to permanent loss of central vision.
The "dry" form of macular degeneration is characterized by the presence of yellow deposits, called drusen, in the macula. A small number of drusen may not cause changes in vision; however, as they increase in size and in number, it may lead to a lowering or distortion of vision and is more pronounced whilst reading. In more advanced stages of dry macular degeneration, there is also a thinning of the light-sensitive layer of cells in the macula leading to atrophy, or tissue death. In the atrophic form of dry macular degeneration, patients may have blind spots in the centre of their vision. In the advanced stages, patients lose central vision.
Anti-VEGF treatment is an injection given in the white portion of your eye (the sclera). The drug is injected directly into the vitreous, the jelly that fills your eye. This is called an “intravitreal” injection. The simple and easy procedure is quick and usually painless.