Few people realize that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among those aged 55 and older in the United States. The disease involves changes in the central portion of the retina (macula), which is responsible for central vision. Of the two types of AMD, the “dry” form is far more common, accounting for 90% of cases. While this form of the disease cannot be prevented or reversed, it may progress slowly and stabilize for intermittent periods. People with “dry” AMD do not lose their vision unless they eventually develop the more advanced form of “wet” AMD. The more serious “wet” AMD involves abnormal blood-vessel development. It can be treated if diagnosed early. Macular degeneration is a deterioration or breakdown of the macula, the small area in the retina at the back of the eye that allows you to see fine details clearly, read, and drive. Caucasians are at higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than other races, and women tend to develop AMD at an earlier age than men.
Jul 24, 2012