Age related macular degeneration

AMD (Age related Macular Degeneration) is the commonest cause of blindness in people over the age of 55 in the UK. There are two forms - Wet and Dry.

What is Wet Macular degeneration

About 10% of people with AMD develop the "wet" form of the disease. This occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop underneath the macula. These blood vessels leak fluid and blood, and eventually promote scar tissue formation. Wet AMD can progress rapidly and cause serious damage. If it's caught early, however, laser surgery and injections may be able to prevent extensive vision loss.

What is Dry Macular Degeneration

Dry Macular Degeneration is where cells in the retina fail to function properly. 90% of AMD sufferers have the Dry form of the disease and traditionally, there has been no effective treatment for Dry AMD.  However there are now effective treatments for patient suffering with the condition.  One of these treatments is the CentraSight treatment programme which is offered at Duchy Hospital.

End-Stage AMD is the most advanced form of the disease and the leading cause of irreversible vision loss and legal blindness in individuals over the age of 65.

In early, less advanced AMD, visual symptoms are generally mild and may or may not impact vision-related activities. However, advanced stages of AMD can result in severe loss of sight in the central part of vision. This is often referred to as a central vision “blind spot.” This blind spot is different than the visual disturbances experienced with cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens) and is not correctable by cataract surgery or spectacles. Side vision, or peripheral vision, is not affected by AMD, but is too low resolution to make up for lost central vision.

At this time, there is no cure for End-Stage AMD and no way to reverse its effects.

What is CentraSight® and the Telescope Implant?

The CentraSight treatment programme uses a tiny telescope, a CE Marked medical device, which is implanted inside the eye to improve vision and quality of life for individuals affected by End-Stage AMD.

The Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz), about the size of a pea, is intended to improve distance and near vision in people who have lost central vision in both eyes because of End-Stage AMD. The telescope implant is surgically placed inside one eye. The implanted eye provides central vision; the other eye provides peripheral vision.

The telescope implant is not a cure for End-Stage AMD. It will not restore your vision to the level it was before you had AMD, and it will not completely correct your vision loss. Patients with this level of AMD have had to cease driving due to their vision; after the telescope procedure, although near and distance vision may improve, driving will not be possible because the implant does not restore normal vision.

To be considered as a possible candidate for the treatment, you must first be examined by an ophthalmologist to confirm that you have End-Stage AMD.

This will involve a thorough medical eye examination and a review of your medical history, including any conditions that may make the procedure difficult for you or increase the likelihood of complications. Your ophthalmologist will explain the benefits and risks of the CentraSight treatment programme and answer any questions you may have.

Additional information can be found at

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