Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Retina, eye, Vision, Dr. Notaro

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition that causes central vision loss due to damage/aging of the macula, or the center part of the “back of the eye.” AMD is the leading cause of visual acuity (sharpness of vision) loss in people over the age of 50.  Visual loss from the condition can range from mild to extremely severe.

Early stages of AMD may present no symptoms at all.  Symptoms as the disease progresses include distortion of straight lines, a decrease in the intensity or brightness of colors, a gradual or sudden loss of central vision or dark, blurry areas in the center of vision.

There are two types of Macular Degeneration: non-neovascular or dry AMD; and neovascular or wet AMD.

Dry Macular Degeneration should be checked frequently by your retina specialist. The “dry” disease is more prevalent and can take on many forms. Currently there is no proven treatment for Dry Macular Degeneration; therefore, consistent follow up with your retina specialist is necessary to observe if it converts to Wet Macular Degeneration.

Wet Macular Degeneration is caused when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow underneath the “back of the eye.” These vessels begin to leak blood and fluid causing damage and scarring to the macula. This is a serious condition that should be evaluated by a retina specialist. Wet Macular Degeneration is less common than dry, yet it is still one of the leading causes of vision loss for people ages 50 and older.  There is no cure for Wet AMD, however it can be treated and maintained with drugs administered through eye injections.

While eye injections may sound a bit scary, the truth is they are virtually pain-free and can prevent patients with Wet AMD from losing their vision.  Click here for more information about eye injections and how they’re administered.

It is especially important as you age to have your retina evaluated regularly so conditions such as AMD can be diagnosed and treated promptly.  Call 839-9009 today to schedule an appointment at either of our Erie or Niagara County locations.