What is macular degeneration?
The macula is a small spot near the center of the back of your eye called the retina. It is responsible for sharp central vision, which enables you to see objects directly in front of you. The macula controls vision in our central field of
vision, the area you would see if you looked through a drinking straw. As the macula ages, it may begin to thin and break down (degenerate).
There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet. In the dry form, small deposits of material, called drusen, develop in the macula, causing mild to moderate decrease in vision. In the wet form, abnormal blood vessels under the macula
leak fluid. This can result in severe vision loss. Dry AMD is by far the most common type, accounting for 90 percent of all cases. However, Wet AMD leads to faster vision loss and is the most advanced form of the disease. While wet AMD occurs
in only 10 percent of cases, it accounts for 90 percent of legal blindness.
What are symptoms of macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a slowly progressive disease that causes a reduction in someone’s central vision, due to the light-sensitive cells in the macula breaking down. In the early stages of the disease, the effect on vision may be minimal or
unnoticeable. As the disease progresses, fine detail becomes more difficult to see, especially when reading small print. Vision may also appear distorted or parts of an object may appear to be missing. There is no pain associated with macular
The rate at which AMD advances may differ among individuals. For some, AMD advances so slowly that it takes a long time before they lose vision. In others, AMD progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. While AMD
limits central vision, it does not affect your peripheral (side) vision.
What causes macular degeneration?
No one is completely sure what causes macular degeneration. Heredity, the environment, age (particularly age 50 and older), and general health may all be factors. Recent studies indicate that exposure to ultraviolet radiation as well as
deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals may also affect macular degeneration. Smoking has been linked to the more severe, or wet, form of macular degeneration.
What are treatment options for macular degeneration?
Treatment of macular degeneration depends on the type that is present. For those with wet macular degeneration (the rarer, yet more aggressive type), we can administer a high antioxidant vitamin therapy. For dry macular degeneration, we may
explore laser or injection therapy, while nonsurgical solutions like special glasses, tints, and lens coatings can also improve clarity and contrast of vision.
To give our patients with macular degeneration the best possible care, our specialists get to know their lifestyle needs and vision status to help improve overall vision and quality of life. We are dedicated to identifying the best solutions
How common is macular degeneration?
Macular Degeneration is an eye condition that affects the back of your eye called the retina. The retina is the nerve fiber layer in the back of the eye where images form, much like the film in a camera. The macula is a very small area in the
center of the retina. The macula controls vision in our central field of vision—the area you would see if you looked through a drinking straw. If the macula is damaged, central vision is reduced or even lost, but peripheral (side) vision
Approximately 11 million Americans in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration, according to the National Eye Institute. 2.1 million Americans have the advanced form of the disease, a leading cause of irreversible
blindness and central visual impairment worldwide, among people age 60 and older.