Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is an eye disease that affects central vision. The most usual cause of severe vision loss, macular degeneration usually affects people over the age of 60 to 65. AMD causes problems with perception, impairs reading and driving but it does not cause blindness.
Wet and Dry AMD
Macular degeneration the part of the eye called the macula which is located in the retina’s center. AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, creates a blind spot in a person’s central vision. According to The Ohio State University Medical Center, there are two types of AMD, wet and dry.
Most degeneration is associated with natural aging but some types can be caused by heredity or medicines. Dry AMD is the most common type of macular degeneration and is age-related. Wet AMD is more severe and is caused by new blood vessel growth behind the retina and a blind spot caused by leaking blood.
Changeable Lenses and Color Variety are Important for Macular Degeneration Vision Problems
Transition lenses, also called photochromic lenses, are sometimes prescribed for AMD because they change from nearly clear indoors to darker outdoors. This type of affordable lenses provides clarity of vision and comfort for someone with macular degeneration.
The technology used for the most popular brands of photochromic lenses is owned by Transitions Optical, according to the All About Vision website. Most people refer to photochromic lenses as “transition lenses.” Changeable lenses are sold by many lens manufacturers, but Transition Optical is the most popular.
Photochromic lenses come in a variety of colors and materials.
Ultraviolet and Blue Light Filtering Lenses for AMD
Changeable lenses filter blue light and 100% of UV light, which is important for anyone with macular degeneration. Some sunglasses have UV protection but the blue light filter is also an important feature of AMD eyewear.
Help for Color Distinction and Reduced Contrast with Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration reduces the ability to distinguish color and detail and also causes reduced contrast vision. The Dr. Bill Takeshita Foundation website notes that certain lens colors can help a person with AMD distinguish details better. Eye care practitioners are trained to help patients with AMD to select the best type of lens color for specific AMD problems.
Specific lenses help with contrast vision, which is important for perception or low vision associated with macula problems. A yellow or brown tint or contrast filter will help a person with AMD be able to see a curb or step when walking. Gray and green lenses help provide comfort from glare and sensitivity to light that is associated with macular degeneration.
Reduced Glare and Specialty Coloring of Transitioning Lenses for AMD
Most photochromic lenses work by because the material in the lens reacts to UV light. However, car windshields absorb UV light and prevent the lenses from darkening. Transition Optical has created a new lens technology called XTRAcitve that darkens inside vehicles. Drivewear Lenses developed by Younger Optics changes color when worn inside a car and is also polarized to help reduce glare.
Corning’s CPF glass photochromic lenses have the option of a specially selected red color for macular degeneration and lenses that cut glare that is prescribed specially for AMD patients.
Additional Considerations for AMD
Regular eye examinations are important for people diagnosed with macular degeneration. Eye doctors usually ask patients with AMD to monitor their symptoms at home by checking their vision often with an Amsler Grid.