AMD and glaucoma: how to recognize and prevent them

Macular degeneration and glaucoma are eye conditions that can cause vision loss. They have similar symptoms and risk factors, such as age, but differ in the part of the eye affected and how doctors treat them.

Glaucoma and macular degeneration are progressive eye conditions that affect millions of people. Doctors also call macular degeneration “age-related macular degeneration”. Although both of these conditions can affect vision, different areas of the eye are damaged. In macular degeneration, the central part of the retina deteriorates, while glaucoma impacts the optic nerve and affects peripheral vision. This article compares macular degeneration and glaucoma, including their symptoms, risk factors, and treatment and prevention options. It also looks at whether these two conditions are related and how they differ from cataracts.

Overview of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects the retina, which is responsible for central vision in the eye. It collects the images a person sees and transmits them to the optic nerve. When central vision is damaged, it interferes with a person’s ability to see well enough to drive, read, and recognize faces.

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

Dry macular degeneration is more common and develops gradually over time.

Wet macular degeneration causes abnormal development of blood vessels under the macula, an area in the center of the retina that processes visual information. It can cause severe vision loss and grows faster. If symptoms appear, a person should be treated immediately by a doctor. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people aged 65 and over.

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Vision symptoms and changes

Symptoms and vision changes related to macular degeneration include:

– blurred vision
– less vivid colors
– gradual loss of central vision
– sensitivity to light
– blurry written texts
– difficulty recognizing faces
It is advisable to make an appointment for a
n eye exam if any of these symptoms occur.

Risk factors

Certain factors can increase the risk of developing macular degeneration.

The main risk factors are:

– be over 60 years old
– family history of macular degeneration
– to smoke
– high blood pressure
– obesity

Overview of Glaucoma

Glaucoma involves damage to the optic nerve in the eye. It can develop if the fluid produced by the eye does not drain properly. If this happens, eye pressure may increase. Although there are different types of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of this condition. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.

Vision symptoms and changes

Glaucoma may not cause any symptoms at first, so some people are unaware they have it. Once symptoms and vision changes begin, they may include the following:

– tunnel vision
– progressive loss of lateral vision
– blurred vision.

An appointment should be made for an eye exam to check for any of the above symptoms.

Risk factors

Glaucoma can develop in anyone, but some high-risk groups include people who:

– is over 60 years old
– has a family history of glaucoma
– is diabetic
– has severe myopia (near vision)
– you are farsighted (farsighted), although this specifically increases the risk of angle-closure glaucoma.

What are the differences between the two?

Vision loss in glaucoma typically affects lateral vision, while macular degeneration tends to affect central vision. There is no cure for these two diseases. Treatments can slow vision loss, but they won’t restore it. It is essential to start treatment as soon as possible to preserve vision. Treatment for macular degeneration includes drugs against vascular endothelial growth factor. These drugs block chemicals that cause abnormal blood vessel development.

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As for the treatment of glaucoma, it usually includes:

– eye drops
– beta-blockers
– prostaglandins
– laser procedures
– microsurgery
– incisional surgery, such as a trabeculectomy or a tubular diversion.

Are macular degeneration and glaucoma related?

Multiple genes can influence the development of macular degeneration and glaucoma. Although macular degeneration and glaucoma involve multiple genes, behavioral and demographic factors can also influence the development of these conditions. If the two conditions occur at the same time, without them influencing each other, the visual impairment will affect a larger area of ​​vision than glaucoma alone.

Prevention of AMD and glaucoma

It is not always possible to prevent glaucoma or macular degeneration because not all risk factors are controllable. However, there are some steps a person can take to decrease their risk of contracting these two diseases, such as:

– avoid smoking
– wear sunglasses to reduce exposure to UV rays
– reach or maintain a moderate weight
– monitor your cholesterol level
– wear protective goggles when necessary to avoid eye injuries
– consult an ophthalmologist regularly to quickly diagnose any eye condition and slow down vision loss.

Research from 2019 suggested that vitamin C and vitamin E act as antioxidants by reducing oxidative stress in the retina or macular region of the eye. These vitamins could therefore play a role in the prevention of macular degeneration. However, more studies are needed to explore the prevention of early development and the treatment of macular degeneration and other eye-related complications, including glaucoma and cataracts.

How do they compare to cataracts?

Several other eye conditions can lead to decreased vision or even blindness. For example, if left untreated, cataracts can lead to vision loss. Like macular degeneration and glaucoma, cataracts tend to develop in older people.

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Similar symptoms may include:

– blurred vision
– washed out color vision
– distortion of vision
– symptoms appearing gradually

Unlike macular degeneration and glaucoma, cataract surgery is an option that usually corrects the problem and improves vision.


The outlook for people with macular degeneration or glaucoma can vary depending on the form of each eye condition and how early it is diagnosed. Early diagnosis and treatment can help slow vision loss. However, both diseases are progressive and usually cause some degree of vision loss. A person can come in for an eye exam and the optician can refer them to other tests or treatments.


Macular degeneration and glaucoma both affect the eyes and can lead to vision loss. It’s not always possible to prevent either condition, but regular eye exams can increase the chances of early diagnosis and ensure prompt treatment. Although there is no cure, treatment can help slow vision loss. It is essential to start treatment as soon as possible to preserve vision.

* At press health we strive to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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