AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans age 65 and older. It is the result of a degeneration of the macula, which is the part of the retina that is responsible for sharp central vision. This degeneration causes blind spots in the central vision of its sufferers.
It is estimated that by 2020, 3 million Americans will suffer from advanced age-related macular degeneration. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for advanced stage AMD, though there are several promising treatments currently in clinical trials.
Important Information About AMD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a gradual degeneration of the macula. As the macula deteriorates, fuzzy/blind spots begin to appear directly ahead in your central vision.
We test using a dilated eye exam, where specialized eye drops expand the pupil and enable us to see into the back of your eye. Other tests, such as a visual acuity test, are performed during the exam as well.
There are no known ways to prevent AMD, though clinical trials have suggested that its onset can be delayed via nutritional supplementation. It is important to understand that research in this area is still ongoing.
If age-related macular degeneration (AMD) reaches the advanced stages, there is no current treatment to prevent vision loss. However, a specific high-dose formula of antioxidants may delay or prevent intermediate AMD from progressing to the advanced stage.
Laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and treatment with Macugen can destroy or control the growth of the abnormal blood vessels in the macula- this is helpful for some people who have wet AMD; however, vision that is already lost will not be recovered. There are also multiple new promising treatment options in development.