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Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

What is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

AMD is a disease that affects the macula of the eye and causes disruption to the central part of our vision. The central vision is needed to see in fine detail and colour. Many tasks rely on the central vision (e.g. reading, writing, driving).


The macula is located at the back of the eye. The tissue in the macula is gradually damaged in AMD.

Signs and Symptoms of AMD

The general symptoms of AMD include:

  • Shadows or missing areas in the central vision
  • Blurring of central vision
  • Straight lines appear curved
  • Slow recovery of visual function after exposure to bright light
  • Inability to distinguish between different levels of brightness

Types of AMD

There are 2 forms of AMD – Dry AMD and Wet AMD.


Happens when cells in the macula slowly break down to produce yellow deposits of protein.

The cause is unclear.

Happens when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the macula.

These blood vessels leak blood and fluid beneath the macula causing macula damage.

Central vision is gradually blurred in the affected eye.Creates blind spots or distortions in central vision where straight lines appear wavy.
It is more common than wet AMD.This form of AMD is more severe.

Risk Factors for AMD

  • Age
    A 1997 study showed that 1 in 4 people aged 60 and above suffer form the condition in Singapore Family History
  • Family history

Modifiable (Lifestyle Choices)

  1. Smoking: smokers are 4 times more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers
  2. Heavy use of alcohol
  3. Unhealthy diet
  4. Cardiovascular disease
  5. Obesity

Prevention of AMD

  1. Eat a balanced diet that includes leafy green vegetables
  2. Exercise regularly – 150 mins of moderate intensity of exercise per week
  3. Quit smoking
  4. Wear sunglasses to protect eye from UV light
  5. Maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol level
  6. Regular check-ups and observation of symptoms
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