AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

AMD is a degenerative disease of the eye which concerns :

  • 8% of the people over 50
  • 35% of the people over 75

There is no cure for this disease at this time*.

It comes when the very delicate cells of the macula, that is to say the visual centre of the retina, are being damaged. People suffering from this disease cannot focus properly in the very centre of their vision field: the essential area to read, drive, watch television, recognize faces… For well advanced AMD, patients only see thanks to their peripheral vision.

There seems to be predisposing genetic factors, as well as environmental ones (sun, tobacco, food…).

AMD has become the first cause of blindness in industrialized countries.

It affects now from 13 to 15 million American people and more than 25 million people in the world.

Because of the ageing population a high increase of the cases is very likely to happen.

AMD and Sun exposure: a strong correlation but no clear scientific result yet.

In vitro - it has been demonstrated that the protection of the retina against short-wave light is critical. The mechanism involves the accumulation of phototoxic free radicals, implicated in the advancement of age-related macular degeneration. However the clear correlation between UV exposure and macular degeneration with epidemiological studies has not been demonstrated because it is difficult to assess the true UV and light exposure of the patient.

AMD information websites * :

University of Alabama Dept of Ophthalmology

American Macular Degeneration Fundation

Macular Degeneration Partnership

*(Independent websites - non commercial links - contents are not certified by Essilor).