Age Related Macular Degeneration
Age related Macular Degeneration, commonly referred to as AMD, is a breakdown of the most sensitive part of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for your central vision and allows you to see fine details. Many older people develop macular degeneration as part of the body’s natural aging process. Common symptoms of macular degeneration include blurriness, dark holes or distortion in your central vision, and sometimes permanent loss of central vision while peripheral vision, or side vision, is unaffected. For example, a person experiencing macular degeneration might be able to see the outline of a TV but not what is playing on the screen.
There are two types of macular degeneration, dry or wet. The dry form is the most common and is caused by aging and the thinning of the tissues of the macula. The second form, or wet macular degeneration, is cause when there is abnormal blood vessel growth called choroidal neovascularization (CNV). These blood vessels grow from the choroid layer underneath the retina. These blood vessels are weak and often leak fluid or blood causing blurring or distortion in central vision.
For more information, please visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology article on AMD
By Henry J. Kaplan, MD
University of Louisville
Co-author(s): Niloofar Piri, MD, University of Louisville