Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AGE-RELATED SIGHT LOSS


HCA UK's experts can help to diagnose and treat age-related sight loss.

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What is AMD?

AMD is a common sight-loss condition that mainly affects people aged in their 50s and 60s. AMD causes changes to the central part of your retina, called the macula. It doesn’t lead to pain or total sight loss but can make every day tasks harder.

At HCA UK, our team of expert optometrists and ophthalmology consultants specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of sight disorders such as age-related macular degeneration.

Types of age-related macular degeneration

Dry AMD

Dry AMD is the type of AMD that affects the most people. It develops slowly and can cause a blank patch in your central vision.

Wet AMD

Wet AMD develops over days or weeks. Due to the macula (retina) cells not working properly, new blood vessels start to grow which then bleed and scar.

Need to know

You may not experience any symptoms of liver damage early on. In fact, many people who have alcohol-related fatty liver or hepatitis find out during routine tests for an unrelated illness. Early symptoms of alcohol-related liver disease can be non-specific. These include:

  • pain in the liver
  • fatigue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • pale stools
  • rapid heart rate
  • increased sensitivity to alcohol or drugs

Later symptoms as the liver struggles to function include:

  • jaundice
  • vomiting blood (haematemesis)
  • dark, black, tarry stools (melena)
  • significant weight loss
  • swollen abdomen (ascites)
  • confusion or 'brain fog' (hepatic encephalopathy)

Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and may recommend tests to aid diagnosis. Diagnosis is made through a combination of an assessment of your medical history, a physical examination and a number of diagnostic tests. These might include:

  • Liver Function Tests (LFTs) which measure various enzymes and proteins in the blood that are made or cleared by the liver.
  • Imaging tests like FibroScan measures the amount of scar tissue (fibrosis) in your liver, while CT and MRI scans show scarring in cirrhosis.
  • A liver biopsy may be required, where a tiny piece of your liver is taken to determine the extent of liver injury.
  • An endoscopy to check for varices (abnormally dilated vessels, a sign of cirrhosis) in the oesophagus or stomach.

If you've been diagnosed with ALD, your consultant will discuss your treatment options with you to help determine the best approach for you. Treatment options can include:

  • Stop drinking. For most people with fatty liver and alcoholic hepatitis, the liver can potentially heal itself if they stop drinking.
  • A good balanced diet. Drinking alcohol can lead to malnutrition, due to consumption of empty calories, loss of appetite and malabsorption.
  • Enteral nutrition. Nutrients fed through a tube can help your liver repair itself.
  • Steroids. To control the inflammation of your liver.
  • Liver transplantation. Where other treatments are no longer helpful.

Our Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) locations

The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London
The Wilmslow Hospital

The Wilmslow Hospital

52-54 Alderley Road SK9 1NY Wilmslow

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.