Advanced Aged Related Macular Degeneration

Advanced Aged Related Macular Degeneration

Posted under Eye Conditions

Advanced aged related macular degeneration (AMD) is the last stage of macular degeneration. What does that mean? It means that there is no longer any treatment that can correct or cure one’s vision loss. Vision loss at this stage is a severe loss of straight ahead vision in both eyes. A black or gray spot, called a scotoma, appears right n the center of one’s vision interfering with one’s ability to read, drive, recognize faces or perform many everyday living activities.

While there are many magnifiers and vision aids to assist in these activities, there is no way of reversing this retinal condition. End stage macular degeneration can develop in those who have wet or dry AMD. The damage done to the macula, whether it is geographic atrophy from dry AMD or a macular scar from wet AMD, is permanent. That said, the macular degeneration is just that, degeneration to the macula, a very tiny spot located in the center of the retina. This small yellow spot is responsible for our straight ahead vision, while the rest of the retina is responsible for our side or peripheral vision. AMD does not affect the vision we use to see what is occurring to the right or to the left side of us. While it is not ideal, one’s peripheral vision is usable to see or detect people, objects or movement in one’s periphery.

Our peripheral vision is different from our normal central or straight ahead vision. The macular portion of the retina is made up mostly of cone cells. Cone cells give us our crisp, sharp and detailed vision. The other parts of the retina are made up mostly of rod cells. Rod cells are useful for detecting movement and for light perception.

Both types of photoreceptor cells are necessary. They just serve different purposes. For those who have advanced AMD in both eyes there is some exciting new technology being developed by CentraSight. It is a small device that is implanted in one eye, not both eyes. There is a reason for this. The implanted device, about the size of a pea, redirects one’s vision from the degenerated macula area to a healthier spot in the central portion of the retina. The implanted device not only allows a healthier section of the retina to do the seeing, it also magnifies images 2.2 to 2.7 times. The benefit of this magnification is that the black or grey spot appears smaller and the viewer can better see what is straight ahead. So with the implant, one eye is used for central, straight ahead vision, while the other eyes is useful for peripheral vision.

Find out more about this macular degeneration implant here:

Macular Degeneration Implant

Better Health for Better Vision

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN