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Age Related Macular Degeneration

Dry AMD

There is still no treatment for dry AMD though plenty of research in this area is being carried out. Low visual aids (LVA) can often be very helpful in dry or inactive AMD by forcing the peripheral retina to perform many of the tasks normally undertaken by the macula. Professor Stanga can organise assessment and assistance with LVA.

Vitamin supplements may be of help for some subtypes of AMD;

Professor Stanga always recommends patients stop smoking as it has been shown to be a contributing factor to the development of this condition.

Professor Stanga is currently running at the MVR Lab the world’s first ever feasibility study that aims to establish whether blind patients with loss of central vision due to dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration can benefit from an electronic artificial retina - the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System. This is also known as the “bionic eye” study. Professor Stanga is leading the study in clinics at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)/Welcome Trust Manchester Clinical Research Facility. For more information, please click here to be directed to the Research page.

Regular testing of each eye separately using an Amsler Grid can help to detect early changes.

The Amsler Grid test is a simple test that may help locate vision problems that might be related to macular disease. Below are instructions on how best to use your Amsler Grid:-

  1. Hold the grid about 12 inches (30 cm) from the eye.
  2. Wear your reading glasses or bifocals.
  3. Test one eye at a time.
  4. While looking at the centre dot ask yourself the following questions;
    • a) Can you see all four corners of the grid?
    • b) Are any of the lines blurry? Bent? Wavy? Missing?
  5. Use the grid once a week
  6. If you note any changes in how you see the grid, please consult Professor Stanga urgently.

Patient responsibilites when undergoing treatment

You must immediately contact Professor Stanga or his team if any of the following signs of infection or other complications develop: pain, blurry or decreased vision, sensitivity to light, redness of the eye (compared to immediately after the injection) or discharge from the eye.

You should not rub your eyes or swim for three days after each injection. Please keep all post-injection appointments or scheduled telephone calls so that Professor Stanga or his team can check for complications.

Although the likelihood of serious complications affecting other organs within your body is low, you should immediately contact your GP or go to your local Accident and Emergency Department if you experience abdominal pain associated with constipation and vomiting, abnormal bleeding, chest pain, severe headache, slurred speech, or weakness on one side of the body.

As informed by Professor Stanga and his team, symptoms of stroke include sudden changes in vision, sudden numbness or weakness of the face/arm/leg (especially on one side of the body), sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or co-ordination and sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Please notify Professor Stanga or his team about any of these problems.

Please inform Professor Stanga or his team if you need to have any surgery or if you are on a medication that needs to be stopped before you can have treatment for AMD. Please do inform any other surgeon (including dentists) of the treatment for AMD that you have had or are undergoing.

Please remember that each patient is different and the information here provided is only a general guide. If you require further advice or information please contact Professor Stanga’s or a member of his team.

 

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