Macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans.
AMD is caused by hardening of the arteries that nourish the retina, the light-sensing layer of the eye. This deprives the sensitive retinal tissue of oxygen and nutrients needed to function and thrive, leading to vision loss.
Macular degeneration varies widely in severity. In the worst cases, it causes a complete loss of central vision, making reading or driving impossible. For others, it may only cause slight distortion.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration may be aggravated by factors such as smoking, cardiovascular disease, exposure to sunlight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or poor diet. Heredity may also influence the development of macular degeneration.
Treating Macular Degeneration
Treatments for macular degeneration include laser treatments and medication injections.