Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is an irreversible cause of vision loss in which the central part of the retina (the macula) becomes damaged. This results in blurry vision when you are looking straight ahead (central vision).
Your peripheral vision typically remains normal.
Visual symptoms can often be monitored at home with an AMSLER GRID.
Dry macular degeneration is quite common. About 85% of people who have AMD have the dry form. Parts of the macula get thinner with age. Tiny protein filled deposits called druse, also grow and can be detected with a dilated exam. At this time there is no way to treat dry AMD but taking eye vitamins (AREDS2, Preservision, Ocuvite) may help prevent it from getting worse.
Wet macular degeneration is less common but much more serious. In this type of AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. They may bleed and cause scarring of the macula. Often times you lose vision faster than with dry AMD and in fact most people don't realize they even have AMD until their vision gets very blurry. Wet AMD is typically treated with injections in the eye.