Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is very common. There are options to improve quality of life if you or a loved one develops AMD.
What is age-related macular degeneration?
AMD occurs in the retina, specifically in a part called the macula. It’s the part of your eye that processes what you see directly in front of you, also known as your central vision. It’s a very important part of your eye for daily functioning, so when the macula is damaged, your ability to see what you need to function is impaired.
With AMD, your peripheral vision stays intact, but your central vision is affected. This makes it hard to see fine details when looking at something straight on, but you can see full details with your peripheral vision.
Facts about age-related macular degeneration
Equip yourself with knowledge of AMD if you or a loved one is reaching the age of 50, especially if you have family history. If you or someone you know is diagnosed, you have options.
There are two types of AMD
The two types of AMD are wet and dry. Most cases begin with dry AMD and develop into wet AMD.
You can be diagnosed with AMD by looking at a tool called an Amsler grid during an eye exam. Your doctor can also dilate your eyes and examine your eye with a special lens for any changes in your retina or macula.
You are more at risk of AMD if you eat a high saturated fat diet, are overweight, smoke cigarettes, have high blood pressure, have family history of AMD, and are over 50 years old.
Dry AMD is monitored, not treated, but there is a treatment for wet AMD. This treatment includes anti-VEGF drugs that help reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in your retina. It also slows any leaking from blood vessels. Laser treatment is also available.
AMD and How the Eye Works
AMD affects the macula and retina, which are essential parts of your eye. Learn more about how the eye works and how AMD causes vision loss in this video by The American Academy of Ophthalmology.