Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects more than 10
million Americans. It is a chronic disease which attacks the central part of
the retina, known as the macula. The macula is how we are able to focus our
central vision. It controls our ability to read, recognize colors, and see
faces or objects in fine detail.
In its earliest stages, AMD does not impact vision. However,
as it progresses, people will often begin to experience blurred vision. It is
also the leading cause of blindness.
There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Eyes with dry AMD
have changes in the macular pigment that can be seen during a dilated eye exam.
Wet AMD is caused by abnormal leaky blood vessels that grow underneath the
Risk factors for developing macular degeneration include:
- Race (more common in Caucasians)
There are medications available that can reverse and prevent
vision loss from wet AMD. There are also preventative strategies that are
effective in slowing the progression of dry AMD. Your doctor will diagnose
which kind of AMD you have and recommend the treatments right for you.