AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) Facts


What is the macula?

The macula is a very small area of the retina that is responsible for central and color vision, allowing us to read, drive and perform detailed work. Macular degeneration is most commonly a natural result of the aging process. With time, the retinal tissues break down, causing a loss of function of the macula.

Risk Factors

  • Smoking

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history
  • Poor diet

Symptoms of AMD

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Difficulty reading, doing close work or driving
  • Blurry words on a page
  • Distortion of the center of a scene
  • Dark or empty area in the center of vision
  • Distortion of lines


  • Ophthalmoscope is used to measure Drusen in the eye

  • The Amsler Grid Test is used to detect blind spots

  • A color vision test will indicate damage to the macula if patient can not detect symbols or letters camouflaged in colored patterns

While there is no cure for AMD, there are laser treatments and new medications that may slow vision loss and, in some cases, improve sight. A healthy lifestyle is very important in reducing the risk of developing AMD, especially if you have any of the risk factors outlined above.