Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. Estimates are that 1.8 million people have AMD and another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss.
Caucasians are at higher risk for developing AMD than other races. Women also develop AMD at an earlier age than men.
Most people with macular degeneration have the dry form, for which there is no known treatment.
In its early stages, the following signs of macular degeneration can go unnoticed.
- Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly.
- Shape of objects appears distorted.
- Straight lines look wavy or crooked.
- Loss of clear color vision.
- A dark or empty area in the center of vision.
If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms, contact your doctor of optometry immediately for a comprehensive eye examination.
With “dry” macular degeneration, the tissue of the macula gradually becomes thin and stops working properly. There is no cure for dry AMD, and any loss in central vision cannot be restored.
However, researchers and doctors believe there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD.
Less common, “wet” macular degeneration occurs when fluids leak from newly formed blood vessels under the macula. This leakage blurs central vision. Vision loss can be rapid and severe.