Thomas B. Wood, OD

 Barbara C. Masiello, OD

Clear Vision Begins with Healthy Eyes.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1.8 million people have AMD and another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss from AMD. Caucasians are at higher risk for developing AMD than other races. Women also develop AMD at an earlier age than men. This eye disease occurs when there are changes to the macula, a small portion of the retina that is located on the inside back layer of the eye. AMD is a loss of central vision that can occur in two forms: "dry" or "wet" (wet as known as exudative).


 

Symptoms of AMD

 

  • Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
  • Objects appear distorted in shape. Straight lines look wavy or crooked.
  • Loss of clear color vision
  • A dark or empty area appears in the center of vision.

 

Treatment of AMD

 

With dry macular degeneration, the tissue of the macula gradually becomes thin and stops functioning properly. There is no cure for dry AMD, and any loss in central vision cannot be restored. However, doctors now believe there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. Dietary changes favoring low-fat content and dark green leafy vegetables can slow vision loss. Nutritional supplements also may be beneficial.

Less common, wet macular degeneration results when fluids leak from newly formed blood vessels under the macula and blur central vision. Vision loss can be rapid and severe. If detected early, new therapy treatment for wet AMD is available, where a medication is injected into the back of the eye, is showing favorable results. These are not permanent cures but are used to slow the rate of central vision loss.