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Macular Degeneration

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Macular degeneration facts

  • The macula is in the center of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. The macula is responsible for central vision (straight-ahead vision). Degeneration of the macula occurs most often after the age of 60 years and is termed age-related macular generation (AMD).
  • AMD is a painless condition.
  • There are two types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD.
  • Smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, a diet high in unsaturated fats and simple carbohydrates and lack of exercise all increase the risk of AMD.
  • Early symptoms of dry AMD include slightly blurred vision, the need for more light for reading, and difficulty recognizing faces until very close to the person. A symptom of more advanced dry AMD is the presence of a blurred spot in the center of vision. An early symptom of wet AMD is the wavy appearance of straight lines.
  • Dry AMD cannot be treated at present, but progression can be slowed through a healthy lifestyle and sometimes with antioxidant vitamins. Injections into the eye of anti-angiogenic agents are successfully being used in arresting or slowing wet AMD. Because of new therapies for the wet form of AMD, early diagnosis of wet AMD is particularly essential.
Picture of the eye
Diagram of the eye
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/31/2017


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