Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Blurred and distorted central vision, blind spots and loss of color vision. Although peripheral vision remains intact, victims lose the ability to read, to drive, and to see fine detail. Straight lines, such as the edges of doorways, may start to look bent or crooked as vision becomes distorted.
The macula is an area at the center of the retina primarily responsible
for your central or straight-ahead vision and your ability to see colors.
With age, tissues break down and fluids begin to seep between the "pigment"
and "transparent" layers of the retina, causing them to separate.
As fluid separates the layers of the retina, vision cells in the macula
are pushed out of their normal orientation.
Often, your doctor detects early signs of macular degeneration during
a routine eye examination before you experience symptoms
So far, there are no medications that have proven to be effective. But
wet AMD -- in the early stages, only -- can sometimes benefit from treatment
with a surgical laser, to seal the leaks or destroy the abnormal blood
vessels under the macula.
More Information on Macular Degeneration:
The following articles are in PDF format.
Feel free to call or drop in if you'd like to speak to someone in person.
Commonly Asked Questions:
What will help?
There are a number of low vision aids that will help with what peripheral
vision you have left such as glasses, hand or stand magnifiers, or telescopes.
With good motivation and low vision aids, most who suffer from AMD can
continue to lead relatively normal lives.
What if I'm diagnosed with AMD?
You'll be asked to regularly monitor your condition with a grid test
and immediately report any changes in results.
What research is being done for AMD?
New treatment and prevention methods are constantly being sought from
certain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to slow the degeneration
to photodynamic therapy (PDT). All are potentially useful treatments
but all still require further evaluation to determine just how effective
they will be.