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Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a widespread problem in the elderly population worldwide and will often present with perceived calcium deposits forming in the eye and obstructing vision. You are at a higher risk for this disease if you are Caucasian and have other co-existing conditions like hypertension. Age-related macular degeneration is considered to be one of the leading causes of visual loss in the Western world and patients need to be aware of the symptoms and treatments to preserve their vision as long as possible. [1]

In most cases, ARMD will present in one eye at first but will progress to the second eye if interventions are not taken to stop it from occurring. At the early stage of this disease, patients will be asymptomatic and may only see "floaters" in their eyes that disappear as quickly as they appear. These floaters are called "drusen," and it is precipitation of proteins and lipids that form into a ball and can obstruct the vision. Many patients believe this is some calcium deposit on the surface of the eye, but that is not the case at all. 

ARMD can be further broken down into 2 distinctive categories. It is important to know what category you fall into because your prognosis and treatment options are limited in certain cases. 

Wet-ARMD is a condition where patients do not have enough blood flowing to their eyes to replace nutrients, so the body tries to solve the problem on its own. It will secrete growth factors to try to get more blood vessels to dry around the eye, and this will help give needed oxygen to your eye, but it will also interfere with your visual fields and could make you blind in a matter of weeks to months. 

Dry-ARMD is a more drawn-out process and usually occurs due to hypertension. Patients will have more and more deposits of drusen build up into their eye and eventually, they will also lose some their central vision but in a much more extended period of time. [2]

Treatment options for ARMD are the only way for patients to hope to save their sight. Although supplements may provide an alternative route to prolong the visual health of your eye, they are not a definitive treatment, and you will need to have a more invasive intervention to save your vision. The most effective options are anti-VEGF treatments that patients need to inject directly into their eyes to prevent capillaries from growing on the surface of their eyes. Patients will enjoy long-term benefits from using this therapy and studies show that there can be effective in over 95 percent of cases. [3]

Another option that could provide some help to patients suffering from ARMD would be using laser photocoagulation to burn the surface of your eye enough to stop the blood vessels from forming. Laser photocoagulation is a preferred option for patients who are reluctant to self-administer needles directly into their eyes. It may not be as effective, but patients report a higher quality of lives compared to needle injections. 

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