Eye Diseases and Conditions

Picture of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Picture of AMD

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that causes vision loss, typically in people age 50 and older. AMD results in damage to the macula, the portion in the middle of the retina that is responsible for central vision. AMD may be classified as either "wet" or "dry." Wet AMD involves abnormal blood vessel growth underneath the retina. The blood vessels leak, which damages the macula. Dry AMD refers to degeneration of light-sensitive cells or other tissue under the macula, which leads to central vision loss.

Treatment for AMD depends on the stage of the disease. Intermediate AMD may be treated with high-dose vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. Late-stage AMD may be treated with laser surgery, injections, and photodynamic therapy. None of these interventions will restore lost vision nor cure AMD. Treatment may or may not be effective in preventing progression of the disease.

Image Source: Image reprinted with permission from eMedicine.com, 2009

Text Reference: "Age-Related Macular Degeneration." National Eye Institute.