Macular Degeneration

AMD Anatomy

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a problem with your retina. It happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral (side) vision will still be normal. For instance, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD, you might see the clock’s numbers but not the hands.

AMD is very common. It is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older.

Profile-view Illustration of an eye, detailing anatomy that includes the cornea, lens, retina, optic nerve, among other structures.

Two types of AMD

Dry AMD

This form is quite common. About 80% (8 out of 10) of people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. You slowly lose central vision. There is no way to treat dry AMD yet.

Wet AMD

This form is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.

Many people don’t realize they have AMD until their vision is very blurry. This is why it is important to have regular visits to an ophthalmologist. He or she can look for early signs of AMD before you have any vision problems.

Who Is at Risk for AMD?

You are more likely to develop AMD if you:

Having heart disease is another risk factor for AMD, as is having high cholesterol levels. Caucasians (white people) also have an elevated risk of getting AMD.

 

Source link and more information:

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration

 

The above article, media content and links are copyright of the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2019 and subsidiaries, used here with permission.