Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Highly Prevalent Eye

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Let’s talk about the eye. A magical little organ that gives us the sense of sight, which is the most important sense we have, out of all the five senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight). Compared to other animals, human beings are heavily reliant on sight as the dominant sense, mainly because our eyes help our brain understand our surroundings much better and in more detail in comparison to other senses.

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It is because of this reason that vision problems and eye diseases affect us much more and, sometimes, impede our movement on a much greater scale than diseases that hit other organs. The eye, just like other organs, starts losing its capabilities with age, which subsequently leads to the development of vision problems. As a result, the incidence of eye problems and disorders is extremely high among geriatric people. One such eye disorder that affects millions of aged people all over the world is age-related macular degeneration.

Also known as macular degeneration or simply AMD, it is a disease of the eye that affects the macula. The macula is the small central area of the retina, which is responsible for visual acuity. It is the most sensitive component of the retina. Our ability to recognize faces, read, watch television, drive, use a phone or computer, and perform any task that needs us to see fine details is determined by the condition of the macula.

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As a result, the degeneration of the macula massively affects our vision and prevents us from performing everyday tasks, such as reading, writing, and driving. As per the meta-analysis of the global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040 produced in the Lancet, 8.7% of the worldwide population has AMD, and the projected number of people with the disease in 2020 is around 196 million; it is set to increase to 288 million in 2040.

Hence, with the growing prevalence of this disease, on account of the soaring geriatric population, and surging healthcare expenditure in several countries, the global age-related macular degeneration (AMD) market will exhibit huge expansion in the forthcoming years.

Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

There are mainly two types of age-related macular degeneration: exudative or wet and atrophic or dry. The two types are differentiated by the fact that wet AMD is usually either associated with the formation of a choroidal neovascular membrane or/and the existence of abnormal new blood vessels. On the other hand, the major cause of dry AMD is the thinning of the macula. In fact, all AMD starts as dry AMD, and, sometimes, it progresses to the wet form. Dry AMD often starts in one eye and then spreads to the other.

It has been found that dry AMD causes vision loss in patients over a long period of time, whereas in the case of wet AMD, the vision loss occurs rapidly in one or both eyes. Moreover, as wet AMD progresses, the patient experiences a blurring of the vision. However, the visual impairment is more severe in wet AMD, in comparison to dry AMD.

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This release was published on openPR.

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