In Singapore, the overall life expectancy continues to increase and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has become a major public-health concern. Although the specific cause is unknown, AMD seems to be part of ageing.
AMD is a disease affecting the elderly that gradually destroys the macula resulting in loss of sharp, central vision. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, similar to that of a film in a camera. The retina is made up of many cells, called photoreceptors. Images are captured by these photoreceptors on this retina or ‘film’.
They are converted to nerve signals and sent to the brain to be viewed as pictures. The centre of this retina is called the macula. It enables us to see fine detail and differentiate colour. It also enables us in our daily detailed activities like reading, writing and driving.
Reducing AMD Risks
Targeting the modifiable risk factors by changing our lifestyle.
- Healthy diet of fish, green, leafy vegetables and reduced fats
- Take medications to control high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol
- Stop smoking
- Exercise to reduce weight
- Wear sunglasses to decrease sunlight exposure
What You Need To Know
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration Include:
- Blur vision
- Central loss of vision (scotoma) or areas of black patches/ shadows
- Distortion of vision or metamorphopsia where a straight line appear wavy
The Amsler Grid Test is used to monitor the macula. This consists of a large square with multiple small, regular squares.
What can be done when I already have poor vision from advanced AMD?
Fortunately, macular degeneration does not lead to total blindness and usually, only the central vision is damage. Even in advanced cases, the peripheral vision is still very well preserved, allowing for ‘navigational’ vision.
There are many low vision aids that can help. These consist mainly of magnifiers, both for near and distances. They range from simple desktop glass magnifiers or telescopes to more sophisticated ones like computer screen readers.
What can Eagle Eye Centre offer?
At Eagle Eye Centre, we will first perform a comprehensive ocular examination which includes a visual acuity test, observations through the slit lamp and a dilated fundal examination. Based on your assessment, we can then offer a proper diagnosis and will devise a personalised treatment for your condition.
With the latest imaging techniques including FFA, ICG and state of the art spectral domain OCT, we are highly equipped to offer an accurate diagnosis of various possible conditions. We are also able to perform laser from the latest PASCAL laser and have various intravitreal injection options between Avastin and Lucentis.
As part of our quality care we pride in, we also offer counselling with regards to diet and lifestyle modifications to help reduce your risk of AMD.
EEC also provides a wide range of low vision aids help overcome various visual inconveniences.