Macular degeneration: will sufferers go blind?

As a sufferer of AMD, you are confronted with the fact of living with declining eyesight over time. Regular visits to the ophthalmologist and ongoing therapy will stay with you. Everyday life will become more difficult with the loss of vision.


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The prognosis for vision in AMD sufferers

In general, as a sufferer, you can expect that thanks to early treatment and monitoring of AMD, the progression of the disease can be contained and the risk of going blind can be avoided.

The sooner the disease is detected and, if necessary. the higher the chances of preserving vision and maintaining the person’s quality of life. An important point is also whether the AMD is the dry or the wet form of the disease.

Progression of the disease in dry AMD
In the dry form of AMD, a therapy is not possible, as of today. The progression, however, is usually slower. If risk factors are avoided and attention is also paid to a balanced and healthy diet, this can also have a positive effect on the course of the disease.

Prognosis of the disease in dry AMD
The dry form of AMD can lead to severe impairment of central vision in the final stage. The reason is the so-called atrophy: It leads to the fact that affected persons lose their reading ability and also, for example, can no longer recognize faces.

Progression of the disease in wet AMD
Wet AMD can be brought to a much better prognosis with early treatment. If the changes are advanced, patients usually have to receive considerably more injections to dry out the macula. Changes are for example clear vascular growths or a pronounced macular edema in the retina

Prognosis of the disease in wet AMD
The further visual prognosis is worse in wet AMD, because often irreversible changes are already present due to the scarring or atrophy of the sensory cells. This is usually indicated by the worsened visual acuity of the eye before treatment.
With major macular edema and scarring changes, visual acuity is often significantly impaired. By injecting the drug, these changes in the macula can only be reversed to a certain percentage. In this case, visual acuity can recover only partially. If the disease is treated in the early stages, the prognosis for further vision is quite good. Patients usually need significantly fewer injections and the loss of function of the eye is also lower. This means that visual acuity is well preserved after treatment.

AMD is a disease that cannot be cured. The progression of AMD can often be stopped with medication and the lost vision can be improved. Fortunately, complete blindness is ruled out.

Dwindling eyesight – help for those affected

If reading power declines over time, those affected can rely on magnifying visual aids, such as e.B. electronic reading magnifiers or luminescent magnifiers. These also support in everyday life to cope better with the visual impairment.

Complete blindness is impossible

Even in the advanced stages of the disease – both the wet form and the dry form of AMD – sufferers will never go completely blind. Peripheral vision which is responsible for the perception of the environment is preserved. However, loss of central visual acuity, which is so important for reading and recognizing faces, is to be expected. This can lead to the fact that one will be dependent on help in the far advanced stage.

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