Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration, sometimes called Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), typically affects people 55 years old and older, but can be found in people much younger, as well. It is a degenerative condition affecting the macula - the portion of the retina that provides our fine, detailed, central vision. Activities such as threading a needle, reading, and recognizing vibrant colors or faces are just a few of the things the macula is responsible for.

Age-related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people older than 55 years in the United States, affecting more than 1.75 million individuals. Unfortunately, due to the rapid aging of the U.S. population, this number is expected to increase to almost 3 million by 2020. Smoking, obesity, and family history are among the leading causes of this debilitating disease process.

There are two types of Macular Degeneration, dry and wet. The most common type of Macular Degeneration is the dry form. In this form, progression tends to be slower, causing gradual vision loss over time. However, the dry form can convert to wet ARMD at any time when fluid starts to accumulate underneath the macula. Regular examinations by a doctor experienced with Macular Degeneration and monitoring your eyes daily with the use of an Amsler Grid, are vital. Vitamin therapy (an AREDS approved formula) can be effective in slowing down the advancement of this disease. Medical treatment, in the form of intraocular injections (injections directly into the eye), has been shown to greatly improve long-term vision related to wet ARMD.

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