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Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

In the back of the eye there is a region of the retina called the macula that allows us to see color and high resolution of things in front of us.  If the macula is damaged, then objects can become blurry, straight lines look wavy, or vision can look dark. AMD is divided into wet and dry categories. AMD is considered dry if the damage is from the thinning of the macula. Wet AMD occurs because there are new, abnormal blood vessels that are fragile and break easily. Often, dry AMD progresses to wet AMD.

The common risk factors for AMD are the following: age over 50, smoking, diet high in saturated fats, Caucasian descent, and family history of AMD. AMD can be prevented or slowed down by making healthy life style choices such as exercising, eating leafy green vegetables, smoking cessation and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. During your eye exam, your provider will look for yellow deposits (called drusen) on your macula. These are normal with age but bigger and more number of them can suggest AMD. If the AMD is caused by growth of abnormal blood vessels, then the treatment is to reduce these growths by intraocular injections.

For more information visit the following sites:

https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration

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