Age-Related Macular Degeneration

What is age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving.

AMD affects the macula, which is the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. AMD causes no pain. And in many cases, AMD advances so slowly that most people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease does progress faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older.

There are two types of AMD, dry and wet.

What is wet AMD?

Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and in many cases leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid raise the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye. Damage to the macula occurs rapidly. There are treatments available that can block or slow the progression of wet AMD.

What is dry AMD?

Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually binning central vision in the affected eye. As dry AMD gets worse, you may see a blurred spot in the center of your vision. Over time, as less of the macula functions, central vision is gradually lost in the affected eye.

If you are 60 or over, the American Academy of Ophthahnology recommends annual dilated eye exams to detect early signs of this disease. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.

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