Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common type[i]. AMD is a long-term, degenerative eye disease that gradually affects a person’s sight, often making it blurry or distorted, or causing gaps or dark spots in central vision[ii].
There are two types of AMD, known as ‘dry’ and ‘wet’. Dry AMD is a gradual deterioration of the macula, as the retinal cells die off and are not renewed. The term ‘dry’ does not mean the person has dry eyes in terms of their tear production, just that the condition is not wet AMD. Around 10-15% of people with dry AMD also develop wet AMD[iii].
“Around 10-15% of people with dry AMD also develop wet AMD.”
Currently wet AMD is the only form of the condition which is treatable. Approximately 39,800 people in the UK develop wet AMD each year[iv].
Managing your disease progression with your eye specialist
Wet AMD can develop quickly and worsen over time[v]. To help slow down the progression of the disease, your eye specialist may recommend a so-called anti–vascular endothelial growth factor, or anti-VEGF, treatment[vi]. Every person responds differently to treatment, and therefore it’s important to monitor for any changes in your vision. It is also important to make the most of the time you get with your eye care team, so take this quick questionnaire and download your appointment guide.
1. Attend regular eye check-ups. Your eye specialist will regularly monitor the progression of your wet AMD during appointments and may use an optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan to take pictures of the back of your eye. The OCT is a common, non-invasive technique that produces images of the back of the eye and helps your eye specialist monitor changes in your condition, including the presence and build-up of fluid[vii].
Regular appointments will help your eye specialist decide the best treatment option and dosing schedule for you, adjusting them over time as needed. For more information on treatment for wet AMD, see here.