Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects an individual's central vision. AMD is the most common cause of severe vision loss among people over 60. Because only the center of vision is affected, people rarely go blind from this disease. However, AMD can make it difficult to read, drive, or perform other daily activities that require fine, central vision.
AMD occurs when the macula, which is located in the center of the retina and provides us with sight in the center of our field of vision, begins to degenerate. With less of the macula working, central vision–necessary for driving, reading, recognizing faces, and performing close-up work–begins to deteriorate.
What are the different types of AMD?
There are two primary types of AMD:
What are the symptoms of AMD?
The following are the most common symptoms of AMD. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of AMD may resemble other eye conditions. Consult a doctor for diagnosis.
How is AMD diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and eye examination, your eye care professional may perform the following tests to diagnose AMD:
Possible risk factors for AMD include:
Specific treatment for AMD will be determined by your doctor based on:
Currently, there is no treatment for dry AMD. This does not, however, indicate that sight will automatically be lost, particularly if the AMD affects only one eye. Central vision may eventually be lost or diminished, but generally the rate of loss is slow.