Special glasses for macular degeneration (AMD)

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disorder that is accompanied by progressive damage to the macula (the area of the retina responsible for clear central vision). The condition leads to visual impairment.

Low vision is defined as a visual impairment that results in visual acuity of 20/70 or worse. Low vision caused by eye disease cannot be corrected with normal glasses .

If you have AMD, you will be happy to know that there are several special eyeglass options specifically designed for people with low vision due to macular degeneration.

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Low vision with AMD

AMD can cause a wide range of vision problems, from no problem to a significant deterioration of central vision, in many people with the condition. Getting the right type of specialty glasses can help.

There are optometrists who specialize in helping visually impaired people get their glasses. In fact, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA), low vision services are generally provided to people with reduced visual acuity or visual field deficits (which cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery).

According to the AOA , even people with severe vision loss who cannot do anything to improve their vision can benefit from the practice of rehabilitating the visually impaired. such specialists.

To find a visual impairment clinic or specialist near me, search the internet for a "visually impaired optometrist."

Depending on the level of vision loss you've experienced and the stage and symptoms of AMD, there are several types of glasses that can help improve your vision .

AMD early stage glasses

Early AMD involves the presence of several small to medium-sized drusen deposits (yellow or white spots on the retina) with minimal visual symptoms. Generally , vision loss (such as blind spots or visual distortion) has not yet occurred. It happened at this stage of the disease.

At this stage of AMD, if a person requires corrective lenses for normal age-related vision loss due to presbyopia (difficulty focusing on nearby objects) or for other reasons, progressive bifocal lenses may be prescribed. Alternatively, the optometrist may suggest the use of two different pairs of glasses, one for reading (near vision) and the other for far vision.

Safety sunglasses

Your optometrist may recommend gray or brown sunglasses or transition lenses to block harmful ultraviolet light from the sun, which can aggravate macular degeneration. Sunglasses with lenses that block 99% to 100% of harmful UV light are recommended.

Blue light (present on sunny days) has been found to increase the risk of AMD. Therefore, in the bright sun, brown sunglasses can be recommended .

Polycarbonate lenses

Glasses can also prevent irritants such as flying insects from entering the eyes. When a person has an eye condition such as macular degeneration, it is important to protect the eyes from injury, especially if only one eye has good vision.

A type of lens made of high refractive index polycarbonate plastic may be recommended to provide additional protection to the eyes against injury.

Points for mid-stage AMD

In the intermediate stage of AMD, the drusen are larger or the number of medium-sized drusen may increase. The retinal pigment epithelium (ESP) is a layer of pigmented cells located under the retina . The RPE changes present in this stage of AMD can lead to vision loss .

Intermediate symptoms may include minor vision changes or no noticeable symptoms. Some people begin to see small gray or black dots in the middle of their field of vision; others have trouble changing their eyes from bright to dim light. In addition, reduced contrast sensitivity (DCS) may be present.

There may also be a decrease in contrast sensitivity in the early wet stage of AMD.

Yellow glasses

Yellow glasses can help improve visual contrast for people with intermediate AMD. Contrast is the difference in intensity or color of light that makes an object stand out.

DCS causes a person to perceive colors that are washed out and not as bright as usual. Therefore, wearing glasses with a yellow tint can help correct this contrast deficit.

DCS can make a person unable to see textures clearly; It can also cause problems when detecting small changes in the environment. For example, it can be difficult to differentiate between individual stairs or curb changes. This can pose an increased risk of falls.

DCS can also cause the inability to distinguish between different shades of the same color. Yellow glasses can help correct this vision deficit in people with AMD .

Anti-glare coating

Anti-reflective technology available for custom macular degeneration glasses can help improve the field of vision.

Anti-reflective technology allows eyeglass lenses to prevent excessive reflection of light from the glass surface, allowing more light to pass through the lenses. Anti-reflective technology can create images much brighter than traditional lenses, helping to reduce DCS effects.

AMD late stage glasses

Late-stage AMD occurs when the condition progresses to vision loss. This can happen with both wet and dry AMD.

Wet AMD , an advanced stage of macular degeneration, involves leaky blood vessels that cause deterioration of the macula (an area in the middle of the retina that is involved in clear central vision). The wet form of AMD progresses much faster than the dry form.

Symptoms of late-stage AMD include loss of central vision. Objects in the middle of the field of view may appear distorted or blurred, or may not be visible at all. Usually objects in the peripheral visual field (peripheral vision) are still visible, but it can be difficult to interpret what they are .

At this stage of the disease, a person may see visual distortions (broken or crooked lines instead of looking straight). Other symptoms may include large gray or black spots in the central visual field or an inability to recognize faces (even if peripheral vision still works) .

Regardless of whether a person suffers from vision loss due to wet or dry AMD, special glasses can help improve vision. For reading, these glasses can be enlarged and built-in prism. For a long-range view, you can use a "bioptic" telescope. A bio-optical telescope is a small telescope mounted on a person's glasses to allow a person with advanced AMD to see objects more clearly at a distance.

Prismatic lenses

Prismatic lenses, sometimes called inline prismatic lenses, are used in advanced stages of macular degeneration (including loss of central vision). Prism lenses deflect light rays entering the eye. This allows the light rays to avoid the macular area damaged by AMD.

While prismatic lenses do not eliminate the blind spots that commonly occur in people with AMD, the lenses can help reduce the area of low vision by reducing the blind spot.

Magnifying glasses

Loupes can include those that magnify images intended for distance vision. There are also special magnifiers available to help people with AMD see close-ups, for example by enlarging text reading for near vision .

Distant vision glasses are special binocular-type lenses called "bioptic telescopes" that are attached to the lenses of your glasses to improve central vision of distant objects. The magnification level of the lens can be adjusted to suit your needs.

It is important to note that loupes can help reduce blind spots and distortion caused by macular degeneration, but they cannot completely eliminate these vision problems.

Get the word of drug information

If you want to know more about which macular degeneration glasses are right for you, be sure to speak with a low vision optometrist who specializes in prescribing glasses for people with low vision. These specialists can evaluate your current symptoms and the stage of AMD and prescribe glasses that are right for you.

Also, keep in mind that when it comes to AMD, early detection is key to slowing the progression of the disease and getting the most effective treatment for the symptoms you are experiencing.

Glasses for macular degeneration can help control symptoms, but not cure the disease. Always follow your ophthalmologist's advice regarding regular eye exams.

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