June 01, 2018

Macular degeneration

Preserve sight with early treatment

Macular degeneration

You visited an eye doctor because it's gradually become more difficult for you to read smaller print. You thought you'd just get an updated prescription for your eyeglasses, so you were surprised to hear you appear to have age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

AMD is a chronic eye disease that develops when tissues of the macula at the back of the inner eye begin to deteriorate. The macula is part of the light-detecting layer of tissue (retina) that's responsible for the central area of your field of vision and your ability to clearly see fine details.

In developed countries, AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people 60 and older. It doesn't cause total blindness since side (peripheral) vision isn't affected. Still, the decline and possible loss of central vision can greatly impact your ability to read, drive, cook and even socialize.

There's no cure for AMD. However, the most common form of AMD develops very gradually. In addition, improved treatment options are helping to delay vision loss and preserve what you have — and in some cases even reverse some vision loss. This is particularly true in those who have the more severe, faster progressing form of the disease.

Dry vs. wet

There are two forms of AMD:

  • Dry AMD — This more common type of AMD occurs in about 85 to 90 percent of people diagnosed with AMD. However, dry AMD accounts for only 10 percent of legal...