Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February is AMD Awareness Month (age-related macular degeneration) - Facts you should know about AMD

Macular degeneration occurs when the center of the retina, known as the macula, is damaged. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over the age of 55. The cause of macular degeneration is unknown.

Although the macula is very small, it is responsible for acute vision. Normal everyday activities such as reading, driving, watching television, recognizing faces, and detailed work such as needlepoint or drawing are dependent upon a healthy macula.

Macular degeneration affects central vision only. Peripheral vision and color vision usually remain normal. This loss of central vision usually occurs gradually. Macular degeneration typically affects both eyes, although not necessarily at the same time. Additionally, each eye’s vision may decline at different rates.

     Video simulation of what someone with macular degeneration sees

How is Macular Degeneration Detected?

Although the cause of macular degeneration is unknown, there are signs that the disease is present in the eye.

Patients experiencing any of the following symptoms should see an ophthalmologist immediately: 
  • Straight lines appear wavy
  • The center of vision appears distorted but the other areas of vision remain clear
  • The center of vision appears dark, white or blurry
  • The ability to perceive colors changes or diminishes 
A qualified ophthalmologist can detect signs of macular degeneration during a routine eye examination. Declining vision or a change in the eye’s blood vessels are often indications that macular degeneration is occurring.

Common eye ailments that are not thought to be linked to macular degeneration include cataracts and cataract surgery, dry eye syndrome, and floaters (moving spots in the field of vision).

Although there is no cure for macular degeneration, early detection is important. Once the disease is identified, treatments are available. Further, there is extensive research being done in this field and advanced treatments are being developed. The sooner patients with macular degeneration are diagnosed, the earlier they can receive these advanced treatments.

Specialty Eye Institute offers sophisticated eye exams that are capable of detecting macular degeneration early, before you develop noticeable symptoms. We offer the most advanced macular degeneration treatment options available.

Preserving and protecting your vision from macular degeneration depends upon routine eye exams. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Video Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health


  1. Thanks a lot for taking time to share all these stuffs with us. I really did not know thet AMD is such a serious issue and now I will be more careful. Thanks for all the trouble you have taken to write this post. Good wishes from vision care 83646.

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  3. Wow! this is a wonderful article with full of information about macular degeneration. Thank you a lot to sharing this to with us. However I want to know that is it possible that the people who is under 20 years can affect by this disease? Macular degeneration treatment