Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness, affecting more than 10 million Americans. It’s caused by deterioration of the central part of the retina—the inside back layer of the eye that “records” images the optic nerve sends to the brain. The retina’s central portion, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
In early stages, macular degeneration does not affect vision. Later, if the disease progresses, people experience wavy or blurred vision, and, if the condition continues to worsen, central vision may be completely lost. People with very advanced macular degeneration are considered legally blind. Even so, because the rest of the retina is still working, they retain their peripheral vision, which is not as clear as central vision.
- Race — Macular Degeneration is more common among Caucasians.
AMD is a chronic disease. Eyes with dry AMD have changes in the macular pigment that are seen during a dilated examination. Some patients experience Wet AMD, which is caused by abnormal leaky blood vessels that grow underneath the retina. For many years we had few treatment options for patients with macular degeneration. Fortunately, this has changed. We now have medications that can reverse and prevent vision loss from wet AMD and preventative strategies to slow the progression of dry AMD. Your ReFocus doctor will diagnose which kind you have and recommend the leading-edge treatments right for you.