Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of blindness in North America in adults over the age of 55.
AMD is a condition that causes central vision loss due to the degeneration of the macula, or the central part of the retina. Typically, AMD is a natural result of ageing. There are 2 forms of AMD, dry and wet.
Dry AMD is the most common form of AMD, occurring due to a gradual deterioration of the central retinal tissues. With dry AMD, clumps of a protein called drusen begin to form, which can block vision.
Wet AMD happens when the blood vessels beneath the macula begin to swell and rupture. The leakage causes blood to leak into the gel-like substance that makes up the innermost part of the eye, called the vitreous, creating dark spots in your vision.
At Eyes on Sheppard, we perform genetic testing for AMD to identify factors that may indicate a higher risk of developing AMD. With better knowledge of what may predispose you to certain conditions, we can create treatment plans for you that can help you preserve your health and vision longer.
Macula Risk® genetic testing helps doctors identify those at high risk for AMD progression. These patients require increased surveillance and early referral to a specialist to preserve their sight.
Vita Risk® genetic testing identifies patients who have an increased risk of progression to wet AMD after chronic exposure to zinc, allowing patients to avoid supplements that increase their risk of vision loss.