Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the US, affecting more than 10 million Americans—more than cataract and glaucoma combined.
What is Macular Degeneration?
AMD is a disease that affects the central portion of the retina, the macula. The macula is responsible for our ability to detect colors, and for our central, fine detailed vision. Typically, AMD affects patients over 60 years of age.
In the early stage of AMD, there is typically no loss of vision. The only way to detect AMD is through an ocular health examination, including a dilated retinal evaluation,by an eye doctor. During a comprehensive eye examination, the doctor islooking for small, yellow ‘bumps’ on the retina called ‘drusen’.
Once a diagnosis of AMD is confirmed, it is important for a patient to be seen, regularly. There is no medical treatment for early macular degeneration, but it is important for a patient’s condition to be routinely monitored for progression. As the disease progresses, more frequent visits may be appropriate. If AMD progresses to a level that warrants treatment, our doctors will refer our patients to the appropriate retinal specialist for treatment.
Heredity and environment are the main contributors for macular degeneration. Other risk factors include smoking and a poor diet.