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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

The macula is a small, but extremely important area located at the centre of the retina, the light-sensing tissue that lines the back of the eye. It is responsible for seeing fine details clearly.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) involves damage to the macula and affects central vision.

  • If you have AMD, you lose the ability to see fine details, both close-up and at a distance. This affects only your central vision.

    Your side, or peripheral, vision usually remains normal. For example, when people with AMD look at a clock, they can see the clock’s outline but cannot tell what time it is; similarly, they gradually lose the ability to recognise people’s faces.

  • There are two types of AMD.

    Most people (about 75%) have a form called “early” or “dry” AMD, which develops when there is a build-up of waste material under the macula and thinning of the retina at the macula. Most people with this condition have near normal vision or milder sight loss.

    A minority of patients with early (dry) AMD can progress to the vision-threatening forms of AMD called late AMD.

    The commonest form of late AMD is “exudative” or “wet” AMD. This occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina. These unhealthy vessels leak blood and fluid, which can prevent the retina from working properly.

    Eventually the bleeding and scarring can lead to severe permanent loss of central vision, but the eye is not usually at risk of losing all vision (going ‘blind’) as the ability to see in the periphery remains.

    There is a rarer form of late AMD called geographic atrophy, where vision is lost through severe thinning or even loss of the macula tissue without any leaking blood vessels.

  • Your consultant specialist will discuss your personalised treatment programme with you. However, below outlines the current treatment options available for AMD.

    At Moorfields Private, we provide intravitreal injections (injections into the eye) for wet AMD using a medicine called ranibizumab (also known as Lucentis, the brand name). Ranibizumab is one of a group of anti-VEGF medicines which, when injected into the eye on a regular basis, can stop the abnormal blood vessels growing, leaking and bleeding under the retina.

    Most people with wet AMD need to have these injections several times a year. Laser treatment is also available for AMD, but is not effective for most cases.

    There is currently no treatment for dry AMD.

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) consultants

A picture of Mr Eric Ezra

Mr Eric Ezra


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Adnan Tufail

Professor Adnan Tufail


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Philip Hykin

Mr Philip Hykin


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Niaz Islam

Mr Niaz Islam


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Dawn Sim

Miss Dawn Sim


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

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Mr David Bessant


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Peter Addison

Mr Peter Addison


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Michel Michaelides

Professor Michel Michaelides


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Carlos Pavesio

Mr Carlos Pavesio


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Bishwanath Pal

Mr Bishwanath Pal


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Miriam Minihan

Miss Miriam Minihan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Professor Lyndon Da Cruz

Professor Lyndon Da Cruz


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Declan Flanagan

Mr Declan Flanagan


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Robert Henderson

Mr Robert Henderson


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Richard Andrews

Mr Richard Andrews


Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

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