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ARE YOU 65 YEARS OLD OR OLDER?

If you are 65 years old or older, you should know that the most common cause of vision loss for Americans your age is “age-related macular degeneration” (AMD), of which there are two forms, wet and dry. Both involve damage to the central portion of the retina (macula), which is responsible for sharp, central vision. AMD may affect one or both eyes and usually presents no early warning signs. Symptoms (haziness, grayness, waviness of straight lines, a blank spot in central vision) associated with dry AMD usually develop gradually, while wet AMD symptoms may arise quickly, within days or weeks. It is important to know that, while AMD cannot be cured, its progression may be slowed. Regular exams are essential. If you have AMD and some loss of vision, your doctor may do a low-vision evaluation to help find ways for you to make the most of your remaining vision and keep your quality of life. (Bi-)monthly injections of drugs that inhibit the growth of abnormal blood cells can stop further vision loss in nearly all patients with wet AMD and can recover some vision function in about one-third.