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(MD) Macular Degeneration

What is age-related macular degeneration?

“The most common type of MD is age-related md (AMD). It usually occurs in people over the age of 50.”

The macula is a small area of the retina. It is highly sensitive and produces detailed, colour images in the centre of the field of vision. Macular degeneration (MD) occurs when the macula is damaged.

Macular degeneration usually affects both eyes, but it may produce symptoms in one eye first. If macular degeneration continues to its late stages, severe visual impairment can result. In most cases, visual loss occurs in the central part of vision.

When complications of AMD threaten sight and cause substantial disturbances of vision, the condition is called ‘late AMD’.


Unfortunately there is no effective treatment for dry AMD. However, significant advances have been made in the treatment of wet AMD.

The treatment of wet AMD is safe but does have risks of complications – these should be discussed with your ophthalmologist. The aim of treatment is to prevent the condition from getting worse. It does not restore lost vision.

Anti-VEGF Drugs

Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) drugs inhibit the formation of new blood vessels in the macula.

Photodynamic therapy

This is when a light-sensitive chemical is used to destroy abnormal blood vessels.

Laser photocoagulation

Laser photocoagulation is when a laser beam is used to cauterise abnormal blood vessels. Laser treatment of wet AMD may be performed under local anaesthesia.

Your medical history

Your ophthalmologist needs to know your medical history to plan the best treatment for you. Tell your ophthalmologist about health problems you have. Some may interfere with treatment, surgery, recovery or treatment following recovery.

A decision to have treatment

As you consider treatment, make sure that you understand the risks, benefits and limitations associated with the treatment. If you have any questions, ask your ophthalmologist.

Want more information?

Some information within this website has been supplied by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Opthamologists (RANZCO). If you would like more information visit www.RANZCO.edu

CALL US ON 06 844 4617


What are the late types of AMD?

There are two types of late age-related macular degeneration: dry AMD and wet AMD.

Dry AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration):
Dry AMD develops slowly, usually over some years. As cells in the macula die in small patches, images fade and are unfocused, and small pieces of image go missing. About four out of 10 people with AMD have the dry type.

Wet AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration):
Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow from the choroid layer (back of the eye) into the macula. These vessels leak and bleed. Scar tissue forms in and around the macula. Wet AMD causes more rapid and severe loss of vision than dry AMD.

Normal Eye And Macula Diagram


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