Age-Related Macular Degeneration is an acquired disease of the macula, the central vision area of the retina at the back of the eye. The macula allows you to see fine details clearly and do things such as reading and driving. Macular degeneration is the most common cause of severe vision loss in people older than 50. Although macular degeneration reduces vision in the central part of the retina, it usually does not affect the eye’s side (peripheral) vision.

There are two forms of macular degeneration, the non-neovascular (or Dry) and the neovascular
(or Wet) degeneration.

  • Dry: 90% of people with ARMD have the dry form and results in slow thinning of the macular tissue. Vision loss is usually gradual.
  • Wet: 10% of people have the wet form and develop significant vision loss from abnormal blood vessels forming underneath the retina and leak fluid or blood leading to rapid and severe vision loss.

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What causes macular degeneration?

  • Most common cause is age and oxidative stress. Many people (approximately 1 in 3 Caucasians) have genetic changes that make them more prone to this damage.
  • Risk Factors:
    • Being more than 50 years old
    • Having a family history of ARMD
    • Cigarette smoking

How is ARMD treated?

  • Nutritional supplements: ask your EBRC physician about eye specific
    supplementation for ARMD.
  • Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Intravitreal Injections for Wet ARMD.
  • Photodynamic therapy for Wet ARMD.
  • Home monitoring for vision changes with an Amsler Grid.

To Use the Grid

  • 1.Wear your reading glasses and hold this grid 12 to 15 inches away from your face in good light
  • 2.Cover one eye
  • 3.Look directly at the center dot
  • 4.While looking directly at the center dot, note whether all lines of the grid are straight or if any areas are distorted, blurred or dark
  • 5.Repeat this procedure with the other eye
  • 6.If any new area of the grid looks wavy, blurred or dark, call your EBRC physician’s office promptly

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