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Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. It is a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision. You need central vision to see objects clearly and to do tasks such as reading and driving.
AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It does not hurt, but it causes cells in the macula to die. There are two types: wet and dry. Wet AMD happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. These new blood vessels often leak blood and fluid. Wet AMD damages the macula quickly. Blurred vision is a common early symptom. Dry AMD happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down. Your gradually lose your central vision. A common early symptom is that straight lines appear crooked.
Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes vision loss. Treatment can slow vision loss. It does not restore vision.
NIH: National Eye Institute
- Facts about Age-Related Macular Degeneration (National Eye Institute) Also in Spanish
- Protect Your Eyes: Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Facts and Prevention Tips (National Eye Institute) - PDF
- What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration? (American Academy of Ophthalmology) Also in Spanish
- 'Boomers' Doing Better at Avoiding Eye Disease of Aging (11/16/2017, HealthDay)
- Supplement May Help Against Vision-Robbing Disease in Seniors (08/24/2017, HealthDay)
Treatments and Therapies
- Choosing Wisely When It Comes to Eye Care: Antibiotics for Eye Injections (American Academy of Ophthalmology)
- What the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies Mean for You (AREDS2) (National Eye Institute)
- Genetics Home Reference: age-related macular degeneration (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Stargardt macular degeneration (National Library of Medicine)
Statistics and Research
- Blood Pressure Drugs and AMD (American Academy of Ophthalmology)
- Emerging Technologies Look Deeper into the Eyes to Catch Signs of Disease (National Eye Institute)
- NIH Study Provides Clarity on Supplements for Protection Against Blinding Eye Disease (National Eye Institute)
- Three Studies Point to Same Risk Gene for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (National Eye Institute)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Macular Degeneration (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Association of Bone Metabolic Markers With Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic...
- Article: The Impact of Supplemental Antioxidants on Visual Function in Nonadvanced...
- Article: Effects of Intravitreal Dexamethasone Implants on Retinal Oxygen Saturation, Vessel...
- Macular Degeneration -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Optometric Association
- Find Services for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (American Foundation for the Blind)
- National Eye Institute
- Stargardt Disease (Foundation Fighting Blindness)