HealthSheets™


What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Three quarter view of cross-sectioned eye with callout showing fovea and macula.Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over age 50. One or both eyes may be affected. The macula (the part of the eye that controls your central, detailed vision) becomes damaged. Central vision becomes limited. However, side vision remains clear. There are two types of macular degeneration: "dry" and "wet."

Closeup of retina with age-related macular degeneration showing drusen.
Dry macular degeneration

Closeup of retina with wet macular degeneration showing blood vessels and fluid.
Wet macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration

Dry is the most common type of macular degeneration. In the early stages, changes in vision may be hard to notice. Over time, your central vision may slowly worsen. You may notice wavy lines and blank spots in the center of your vision. Colors may look dim. There is no way to restore vision lost from dry macular degeneration. But you need to monitor it because it can turn into wet macular degeneration.

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is less common but more serious. Vision loss may be faster and more noticeable. You may suddenly see dark spots, blank spots, wavy lines, and dim colors in the center of your vision. If wet macular degeneration is caught early, certain treatments, such as injections, photodynamic therapy, or laser surgery, may help to slow further vision loss.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered by Krames Patient Education - A Product of StayWell