What you should know about age-related macular degeneration

Perhaps you have just learned that you or a loved one has age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD.

AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision, 

In some people, AMD advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for a long time. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. As AMD progresses, a blurred area near the center of vision is a common symptom. Over time, the blurred area may grow larger or you may develop blank spots in your central vision. Objects also may not appear to be as bright as they used to be.

AMD by itself does not lead to complete blindness, with no ability to see. However, the loss of central vision in AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities,

Who is at risk?

  • Age is a major risk factor for AMD
  • Smoking.
  • Race.
  • Family history and Genetics.

How is AMD detected?

  • Visual acuity test
  • Dilated eye exam
  • Fluorescein angiogram.
  • OCT

During the exam, your eye care professional will look for drusen, which are yellow deposits beneath the retina. Another sign of AMD is the appearance of pigmentary changes under the retina

How is AMD treated?

In advanced AMD

  • Injections
  • Laser surgery