Macular Degeneration

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

  • Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a significant cause of vision loss in developed countries, impacting over 10 million Americans. While typically affecting those aged 60 and older, it can also strike younger individuals. This painless condition gradually impairs central vision in both eyes, while leaving peripheral vision intact, thus avoiding total blindness.
  • The macula, a vital region of the retina responsible for central vision and intricate detail perception, is central to AMD.

The condition presents in two forms


Abnormal blood vessels grow into the macula, leading to blood or fluid leakage, scarring, and swift central vision loss. Immediate specialist attention is crucial for potential treatment.


The most common variant, involving gradual retinal cell decline and no regeneration. Sudden changes in vision should be reported to an optometrist, as 15% of dry AMD cases develop into wet AMD.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms encompass distorted straight lines, dark spots in central vision, faded colors, light adaptation difficulty, blurred vision, changing perceptions of objects, light sensitivity, and disappearing words during reading.

How do I reduce my risk?

Reducing AMD risk involves a healthy lifestyle: quitting smoking, balanced diet with veggies and fruits, moderated alcohol intake, maintaining weight, and regular exercise. Some research indicates that leafy greens can slow dry AMD progression.

While no cure exists, treatments aim to optimize remaining vision. Dry AMD management involves tools like magnifying glasses for reading. Wet AMD can be treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medication to prevent vessel growth and further vision deterioration. Laser therapy targets abnormal blood vessels but is limited to wet AMD cases. Consultation with one of our optometrists is recommended for any AMD-related concerns.