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Age related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects your retina, the light sensitive layer at the back of your eye. It is a very common condition and is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over 50.

What are the
symptoms?

AMD affects the macula, the central portion of the retina, which is responsible for our detailed central vision that helps us to read, recognise faces and drive.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Blind spots
  • Distortion
  • Loss of central vision

Your peripheral vision is usually unaffected.

How is macular
degeneration caused?

There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet.

The dry type is more common and happens when the macula gets thinner over time and waste products (called drusen) get deposited within the macula.

The wet type is less common but happens when abnormal new blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak fluid and/or blood. This can lead to a more rapid visual decline than dry AMD.

How is
AMD treated?

There is no active treatment for dry macular degeneration, although certain nutritional supplements, along with simp

Wet macular degeneration can be treated with intravitreal injections (known as anti-VEGF, or antivascular endothelial growth factor) which can stabilise and potentially improve vision. The injections are given on an outpatient basis and usually require a few rounds on a regular basis depending on the patient’s response.

Intravitreal injections are carried out in clinic as a quick day procedure. The eye often is a little gritty and red for the first 24-48 hours but usually no drops or other treatment is required between injections.

It’s important not to drive to appointments and have other arrangements for transport to and from the clinic.

What are the
possible complications?

Most patients tolerate and respond very well to treatment. Complications are rare, but can include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Vision loss
  • Raised eye pressure

Your surgeon will talk all this through with you.

How do I get referred?

Your optician or GP will discuss the various treatment options available to you and where you can choose to have your treatment. You’ll be able to take the time to decide where you’d like to be treated, and your GP or optician will make the arrangements for your referral.

How to refer

Please follow your local protocol regarding referrals – we accept direct referrals by secure email, fax, OptoManager and post. Please call us on the number at the top of this page if you would like any further information about making a referral to Newmedica.

  • BMI >40, weight >160kg and unable to transfer independently
  • Uncontrolled hypertension – persistent diastolic >100mmHg
  • MI or CVA within 3 months of surgery MRSA positive
  • Active exposed skin infection Indwelling defibrillators
  • Poorly controlled diabetes – BS >20

For optometrists
Send a letter to the patient’s GP with GOS18 requesting an onward referral via ERS.

For GPs and Referral Centres
Send a referral form to Newmedica with GOS18 by post or secure fax 020 7924 6262 or email to: 
newmedica.referrals@nhs.net

Cataract and oculoplastic referrals will be assessed against local criteria.

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