No Products in the Cart
Throughout the human life cycle, our bodies and health tend to undergo different stages of change. Some of those changes may appear to be more apparent while others may be more subtle. As the human body ages, different functions will be affected, including one’s vision. Age can play a significant role in impacting one’s ability to read, see faces, drive, or conduct certain day-to-day activities. This condition, known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is what leads to the permanent loss of vision and is considered the number one cause of blindness, impacting approximately 14 million people around the world, and is more common within developed countries such as the United States.
February is dedicated to AMD, and given the subtle development of this condition, understanding the background, symptoms, risks, and treatment will give you a proactive lens on vision health.
By definition, AMD is a deterioration of the macula, which is a central part of the retina located in the back of the eye. The macula is responsible for our central vision and is responsible for the colors and minute details that we are able to see. The cells in the macula are what detect light and signal our brains to translate what we see into images. Normally, our cells have a certain lifespan and should undergo a process of renewal. As the human body ages, some of those cells, as those in the macula may not renew as they should, hence the name, “age-related macular degeneration”.
While macular degeneration is more associated with aging, it can also impact children and young adults. This condition is called Stargardt disease or juvenile macular degeneration.
There are two types of macular degeneration:
Boyd, Kierstan. 2021. “What Is Macular Degeneration?” American Academy of Ophthalmology. June 14. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration.
Bressler, Susan B., Neil M. Bressler, Shirley H. Sarks, and John P. Sarks. "Age-related macular degeneration: nonneovascular early AMD, intermediate AMD, and geographic atrophy." In Volume 2: Medical Retina, pp. 1041-1074. Elsevier Inc., 2005.
John Hopkins Medicine. 2022. “Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).” Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Johns Hopkins University. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/agerelated-macular-degeneration-amd.
Macular Disease Society. 2022. “What Is the Macula?” Macular Society. Accessed February 9. https://www.macularsociety.org/macular-disease/macula/.
National Eye Institute. 2021. “Age-Related Macular Degeneration.” National Eye Institute. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/age-related-macular-degeneration.
Seltman, Whitney, ed. 2022. “Macular Degeneration (AMD): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention.” WebMD. WebMD. Accessed February 9. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/macular-degeneration/age-related-macular-degeneration-overview.
Tan, Colin S., and SriniVas R. Sadda. "Neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration." In Choroidal Disorders, pp. 89-116. Academic Press, 2017.
World Health Organization. 2022. “Eye Care, Vision Impairment and Blindness.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/health-topics/blindness-and-vision-loss#tab=tab_1.