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Retinal Care

What is age-related macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as its name suggests, is a disease associated with getting older. AMD affects the part of the eye called the macula.
In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people do not have significant problems with their vision. In other situations, people may notice blurriness. When one is diagnosed with AMD, it does not automatically mean that one is “going blind.” However, AMD is a serious problem for many people; statistically speaking, it is a leading
cause of vision loss in older Americans.

Where is the macula?

The macula is located in the center of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina instantly converts light, or an image, into electrical impulses. The retina then sends these impulses, or nerve signals, to the brain.

AMD occurs in two forms: wet and dry.

What is wet AMD?

Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow
under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid raise the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye. Damage to the macula occurs rapidly.
With wet AMD, loss of central vision can occur quickly. An early symptom of wet AMD is that straight lines appear wavy.

What is dry AMD?

Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down,
gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. The most common symptom of dry AMD is slightly blurred vision. You may have difficulty recognizing faces. You may need more light for reading and other tasks. Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye seems unaffected. Scientists are still not sure what causes dry AMD.

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