Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in patients over the age of 50. The macula is the central part of the retina, and is responsible for fine, detailed, central vision. As we get older, normal aging changes occur in the macula which can be detected on a dilated exam. In age-related macular degeneration, the macula undergoes abnormal aging changes and can cause severe vision loss. AMD can be broadly classified into non-neovascular (“dry”) macular degeneration, and neovascular (“wet”) macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration generally progresses very slowly. Certain types of vitamin supplements can help slow down the progression of macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration can have a sudden, dramatic onset, and can progress to blindness rapidly if not treated. If caught early, wet macular degeneration can be treated with monthly injections into the eyes. Patients who receive these treatments can often retain excellent visual acuity. Symtpoms of macular degeneration include blurred vision, missing spots in the vision, or distortion. Any patient experiencing these symptoms should present urgently to the retina clinic.