Age-related macular degeneration — also called macular degeneration, AMD or ARMD — is deterioration of the macula, which is the small central area of the retina of the eye that controls the central portion of vision.

The health of the macula determines our ability to read, recognize faces, drive, watch television, use a computer, and perform any other visual task that requires us to see fine detail. 

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AMD is most common among the older white population

Among Americans age 50 and older, advanced macular degeneration affects 2.1 percent of this group overall, with whites being affected more frequently than blacks, non-white Hispanics and other ethnic groups (2.5 percent vs. 0.9 percent).

Age-related macular degeneration usually produces a slow, painless loss of vision. In rare cases, however, vision loss can be sudden. Early signs of vision loss from AMD include shadowy areas in your central vision or unusually fuzzy or distorted vision.

Optometrists often detect early signs of macular degeneration before symptoms occur. Usually this is accomplished through a retinal exam. When macular degeneration is suspected, a brief test using an Amsler grid that measures your central vision may be performed.

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Mildly blurred vision may be the first symptom of amd

A dilated eye examination with an Optometrist can detect macular degeneration early.

Commonly named risk factors for developing macular degeneration include:

  • Aging

  • Obesity and Inactivity

  • Heredity

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Smoking

  • Lighter eye color