Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a progressive deterioration of the macula, an oval area at the center of the retina that helps us see details clearly. As the name suggests, this is a more prevalent disease with our aging population. Symptoms include blurred vision and gradual deterioration of the centre of the field of vision. It is not accompanied with any pain or other warnings.
Lifestyles that include smoking, poor diet, obesity, or high blood pressure can promote progression of the disease. The role of nutrition including vitamins and minerals is under active investigation at the present time. Diabetes is NOT a risk factor.
ARMD is an illness that, unfortunately, cannot be treated. When it reaches advanced stages, laser treatments help slow down further deterioration. This is not a cure. Usually, vision is severely affected and this affects the quality of life.
There are, however, special lenses we call Telescopes (for improving vision at far distances) and Microscopes (for reading and near tasks) that can often significantly enhance existing vision. Yellow and amber tinted lenses in spectacles also help improve vision by reducing glare and light scattering.