Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an acquired degeneration of the retina that causes significant central visual impairment through a combination of nonneovascular retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities and neovascular derangement which begins with characteristic yellow deposits (drusen) in the macula.AMD is majorly attributed to old age and genetic factors although environment, nutritional deficiency also play a part in the degeneration of the retina. Advanced disease may also involve focal areas of retinal pigment epithelium loss, sub retinal hemorrhage or serous fluid, as well as sub retinal fibrosis. Large and soft drusen are related to elevated cholesterol deposits and may respond to cholesterol-lowering agents.
The aim of the project was to conduct a survey with patients and doctors of an eye hospital to understand the disease progression and to identify ocular, personal, and environmental risk characteristics for AMD. The survey also focused on accurate diagnosis this disease and developing a decision making strategy for management of patients at risk for severe vision loss from AMD. Attempt was also made to provide information and resources for appropriate patient education in the area of vision rehabilitation through distributed pamphlets.
It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Thus it is important to create awareness about this disorder and to diagnoses the disease in time with appropriate examination and treatment procedures to help reduce severe vision loss and help the geriatrics group. Improved patient understanding of AMD will promote compliance and in some cases may help preserve useful vision.