Often referred to as AMD or ARMD (age-related macular degeneration), macular degeneration is a common problem for the aging population. The macula is an area where our central vision is produced of the retina. A healthy macula is necessary for clear vision to effectively read or drive. As the macula begins to deteriorate, central vision loss can occur.
There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry. Wet macular degeneration is neovascular, meaning that blood vessels begin to grow in an area where they normally do not. In wet macular degeneration, new blood vessel growth can occur in the macula. In wet macular AMD may lead to blind spots and distortion in the central vision. Dry macular degeneration is non-neovascular and is characterized by a thinning of the macula, clumping of pigment and abnormal deposits in the macula. While dry macular degeneration is not as severe as wet macular degeneration, it can lead to central vision loss. Some patients can have both dry and wet ARMD.
Although there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, treatment options do exist. Treatments are aimed at slowing the progression of the disease and improving vision when possible.