Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a problem with your retina. It happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see the fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral (side) vision will still be normal. You may notice that when looking at something, your vision may be blurry, obscured, or distorted. AMD is very common. It is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older.
Two types of AMD
This form is quite common. About 80% (8 out of 10) of people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. You slowly lose central vision. There is no way to treat dry AMD yet.
This form is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.
Who is at risk for getting AMD?
Eat a diet high in saturated fat (found in foods like meat, butter, and cheese)
Are over 50 years old
Have a family history of AMD
Are a Caucasian (white)
Many people don’t realize they have AMD until their vision is very blurry. This is why it is important to have regular visits to an ophthalmologist. He or she can look for early signs of AMD before you have any vision problems.
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