The macula is the central part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our vision is clear and sharp. Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual loss in the senior population of the United States. This condition causes deterioration—and possibly the eventual loss—of central vision. Patients may experience anything from a blurry, gray or distorted area to a blind spot in the center of their vision.
Macular degeneration does not cause total blindness because it does not affect peripheral vision. Risk factors include:
- Sunlight exposure
Symptoms of macular degeneration include::
- A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- A gradual loss of color vision
- Distorted or blurry vision
- A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision
There are two types of AMD, dry and wet. Assessing risk factors and evaluating the macula, via careful retinal examination and sophisticated diagnostic testing can help classify AMD into these categories. Regular eye exams are highly recommended to detect macular degeneration early and prevent permanent vision loss.