Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a condition which affects a part of the retina called the macula (responsible for the central vision). Damage occurs over a long period of time due to the accumulation of cellular debris under the retina (dry AMD). This causes the retinal cells to eventually die, causing central vision loss.  Vitamin supplements are

given to patients to reduce the risk of the disease advancing to a more severe form

(wet AMD).

In a more advanced form of AMD, called wet AMD, blood vessels grow in from

behind the retina causing rapid changes in vision. This can be treated if detected

early using laser treatments to the retina, or injections of medications inside the

eyes.

AMD risk factors include age, family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol,

obesity, race (caucasians are more likely to develop AMD), exposure to sunlight,

and smoking.

Regular eye exams can allow your optometrist to detect any early signs of the

disease and slow down or halt any progression to avoid vision loss. Talk to your

optometrist about preventative methods if you have a family history of AMD.

Vision loss simulation due to macular degeneration. Note that the peripheral vision is typically left unaffected.