• 09 APR 13
    Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a retinal disorder that is a leading cause of legal blindness in people in the western world.

    Although AMD cannot be cured, severe vision loss in certain forms of AMD can be prevented by early diagnosis and prompt intervention. AMD has a progressive irreversible loss of central visual function. About 60% of people with AMD are therefore legally blind in both eye’s by the age of 75 years.

    AMD is characterized:

    • Gradual decrease in area’s of central visual function
    • Patients are unaware of the extent of the changes unless a full visual evaluation is performed on a regular basis.


    There are various types of AMD that provide different sign’s and symptoms of visual dysfunction.

    • Dry AMD: Patients wil notice a gradual loss of central vision which is more noticeable with near related tasks.
    • Wet AMD: Patients will notice a profound and rapid loss in central vision due to an accumulation of fluid in the macula causing:


    1. Dysmorphopsia: development of mal-shaped structures caused by the accumulation of fluid in the macula resulting in distorted vision.
    2. Scotoma: Loss of sight at a specific area due to retinal cell loss, therefore becoming a”blind spot”.
    3. Blurred Vision. This therefore leads to severe visual impairment. Treatment can slow down the rate of progress of the disease but will not stop the disease nor reverse the damage caused by the disease.


    Risk factors for AMD

    Numerous factors are implicated in the progression and development of AMD.

    1. Age. Patients over the age of 65 have a higher incidence of developing AMD
    2. Gender. Females tend to have a higher incidence of AMD than males
    3. Race. There is a higher incidence in Caucasians than Africans and Asians
    4. Various Ocular factors
    5. Hereditary Factors
    6. Systemic Factors
    7. Environmental Factors


    Early detection and prevention

    Studies have shown that the effects of aging on the retina may result from oxidative stress to the RPE brought on by the depletion of antioxidant enzymes. The activity of these enzymes decreases with age or from the cumulative phototoxic effects of exposure to UV radiation and blue light and this leads to macular damage.

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Michele Hlava Optometrists

Service Excellence. We enjoy and are disciplined to a team approach, and look upon our patients and clients as part of our family.

Michele Hlava Optometrists
Physical Address
18 Dirkie Uys Street
Somerset West

GPS 34°4’53.56"S +18°50’51.60"E

Postal Address
P.O.Box 177
Somerset West
Vergelegen Optometrists
Vergelegen Plein Checkers centre
Sir Lowrys Pass Rd.
Somerset West
Sanctuary Optometrists
Shop G4, The Sanctuary,
De Beers Avenue, Paardevlei,
Somerset West, 7130.
  • M.Hlava Optometrist Phone: +27 21 852 3667

  • M.Hlava Optometrist Fax: +27 21 851 7890

  • M.Hlava Email: aspec@iafrica.com

  • Vergelegen Phone: +27 21 851 1670

  • Vergelegen Fax: 086 542 1904

  • Vergelegen Email: aspec2@telkomsa.net

  • Sanctuary Optometrists: +27 21 492 3903

  • Sanctuary Email: aspec4@iafrica.com