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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
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (National Eye Institute)
- Facts about Age-Related Macular Degeneration (National Eye Institute) Available 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) Available in Spanish
- Parkinson's Drug Shows Promise Against Macular Degeneration (11/12/2015, HealthDay)
- Carrots Do Help Aging Eyes, Study Shows (10/08/2015, HealthDay)
- Macular Degeneration Prevention and Risk Factors (BrightFocus Foundation)
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)
- Questions to Ask Your Eye Care Professional (AMD Alliance International)
- Genetics Home Reference: Age-related macular degeneration (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Stargardt macular degeneration (National Library of Medicine)
Statistics and Research
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) (National Eye Institute)
- 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)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Bevacizumab (AVASTIN) and age-related macular degeneration. Lower cost does not...
- Article: Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lutein/Zeaxanthin, or Other Nutrient Supplementation...
- Article: Associations Between the T280M and V249I SNPs in CX3CR1 and...
- Macular Degeneration -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Academy of Ophthalmology
- 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)
- Fluorescein angiography Available in Spanish
- Home vision tests Available in Spanish
- Intravitreal injection Available in Spanish
- Macular degeneration - age-related Available in Spanish
- Ophthalmoscopy Available in Spanish
- Slit-lamp exam Available in Spanish
- Standard ophthalmic exam Available in Spanish