If you are having problems with your vision visit your GP or optometrist. If they think you have AMD they will refer you onto an ophthalmologist (a doctor specialising in eye health).
The ophthalmologist will look into the back of your eye with a light to check for any damage. A series of tests will then be carried out in order to diagnose AMD. Photos of your retina will also be taken so the ophthalmologist can establish the extent of any damage to your eye and determine whether the AMD is in an early, intermediate or advanced stage.
It is important to remember that you have a legal obligation to notify the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) if your vision or any medical problem is affecting your ability to drive. In order to be able to drive safely you should, when wearing your glasses, be able to read a car number plate at 20 metres. For more information on macular degeneration and driving and how to inform the DVLA of medical conditions visit the DVLA website.
In wet AMD too much of a substance called Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is produced by the body and this stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. Anti-VEGF medication blocks the action of VEGF and stops it producing new blood vessels. This medication is injected directly into your eye with a small needle and you will be given anaesthetic to numb the eye before the injection so it will not hurt. Anti-VEGF medication has been shown to slow the loss of central vision in around 90% of people that have been treated with it and can even improve vision in a number of patients. If you are being treated with anti-VEGF medication you will receive an injection in your eye once a month for three months. Your doctor will then monitor your progress and decide whether or not you require further injections. You may experience some side effects from treatment with anti-VEGF medication including bleeding, pain and irritation in the injected eye but these should subside within a few days of having the injection.
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