Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
WHAT IS IT?
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that causes the debilitating loss of central or detail vision. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD is more common, causing about 90% of AMD. It can develop so gradually that in the beginning stages you might not notice changes in vision. Wet AMD is less common (about 10% of cases) but is more severe and may progress more rapidly.
WHY DOES IT OCCUR?
Dry Macular Degeneration occurs when the cells of the macula slowly begin to break down, leaving deposits that result in a spotty loss of "straight ahead" vision. Changes in your vision may be slow over time, so it’s important to have regular exams to detect eye disease early on.
Wet Macular Degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow behind the macula, then bleed (hence ‘wet’), resulting in scarring of the macula and the potential for rapid, severe damage. "Straight ahead" vision can become distorted or lost entirely in a short period of time, sometimes within days.
HOW COMMON IS IT?
Age-related Macular Degeneration traditionally affects individuals over the age of 55. However, recent discoveries suggest that a significant number of these individuals may have a major genetic component that contributes to the disease.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
You and your doctor will discuss treatment options to delay progression of the disease including medications, dietary changes and healthy lifestyle habits.