Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, often called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the leading cause of vision loss in adults 50 years or older. We recommend adults at that age or older get regular eye exams to help detect early signs of this disease.

What Is Macular Degeneration

AMD impacts your central vision, meaning you’ll lose sight of things at any distance. However, AMD does not affect your peripheral vision. To help visualize this, picture yourself looking at clock hands. If you had AMD, you’d have no trouble seeing the numbers on the clock, but the hands may be impossible to see.

optometrist examining a man's eye

Types of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

There are two types of AMD, wet and dry.

With dry AMD, parts of the macula start thinning as you age. This causes tiny protein clumps called drusen to grow, leading to loss of central vision. Unfortunately, there are no ways to treat dry AMD yet.

Wet AMD is much more serious but less common. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These new blood vessels can leak blood and other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. Vision loss from wet AMD is much faster than dry and most people don’t realize they have it until their vision is impacted.

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Risk Factors

Older adults are at high risk for developing AMD. However, the below factors can also increase your risk for development:

Diets high in saturated fats
Obesity
Smoking
Hypertension or high blood pressure
A family history of AMD
a machine imaging a patient's cornea

Treating AMD

While there are no treatments for dry AMD, our doctors can recommend vitamins and minerals that can help. For wet AMD, anti-VEGF medications may help reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in your retina. Schedule an appointment with us to discuss your options further.

Schedule An Eye Exam with Optical Expressions

An AMD diagnosis can be scary, but it’s important to know if your vision is being impacted by this disease. Don’t put off getting your eye evaluated. Our friendly and knowledgeable doctors can help you understand the disease and what you can do about it.

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