Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic, degenerative eye condition that gradually diminishes central vision, blurring or obscuring what you see when you look straight ahead.1 Macular degeneration is caused by the thinning of the macula (MAK-u-luh), a part of the retina that is responsible for central vision.1 With macular degeneration, you may see a blank area in your vision or straight lines may look wavy.1 It may be difficult to read a book, locate the edge of a curb, or recognize faces.
There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet.2 All macular degeneration begins as “dry.”2 In some cases, it progresses to “wet,” which is a more severe form characterized by abnormal blood vessel growth that produces fluid in the retina.2 Wet macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness in people over the age of 65 in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.3
Because wet macular degeneration progresses over time and there is currently no cure, it is important to be proactive to slow vision loss.1 You should see an eye doctor when you first notice changes in your vision, and work closely with your eye care team to monitor the progression once you are on treatment. Click here for more information.
To learn more about the role of fluid in the progression of wet macular degeneration, click here.
1 National Eye Institute. Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Available at https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts (link is external). Accessed July 2019.
2 Ambati J and Fowler BJ. Mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration. Neuron. 2012;75(1):26–39.
3 Schmidt-Erfurth U, et al. Guidelines for the management of neovascular age-related macular degeneration by the European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA). Br J Ophthalmol. 2014;98:1144-1167.