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What is Age-related Macular Degeneration?

Sometimes, no matter how many eye care preventative measures we use, our vision worsens as we get older. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects an estimated 10 million Americans and is the leading cause of blindness for Americans over 60 years old. AMD affects our central vision, which helps us see sharp and fine details. It blurs images, making activities like reading, driving, writing and recognizing faces more difficult.

The two types of macular degeneration are wet and dry. Dry is the more common condition and occurs when the macula in the center of your retina starts to deteriorate. The other less common form is wet macular degeneration, which is marked by blood and fluid leaking from blood vessels that grow under the retina in the back of your eye.

Macular degeneration may not occur in both eyes and is sometimes hard to notice when your good eye compensates for the weak one. It is interesting to note that the macula only makes up 2% of the retina, while the other 98% is peripheral vision and remains unaffected. Although only a fraction of the visual field is impacted by this impairment, almost half of the visual cortex is dedicated to processing macular information.

Symptoms usually develop gradually. If you experience blurred or blind spots in the center of your field of vision and are over the age of 50, chances are you could be experiencing symptoms of age-related macular degeneration. Other common symptoms are experiencing a decrease in the intensity or brightness of colors and drastic changes in visual acuity. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and would like to speak with someone, call 877-871-1684 or visit www.eastwesteye.com