Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease. It can happen to people as they get older.
AMD damages a part of your eye called the macula. The macula is the centre part of your retina. It gives you clear vision so you can focus on what is in front of you.
If you have AMD, your vision may be fuzzy. Straight lines may look curvy. You may also have a dark spot in the centre of your field of vision. AMD does not usually affect your side vision. But over time, you may lose more of your front vision. This usually occurs slowly.
Your doctor may give you a special chart to check your vision. This is called an Amsler grid. It has lines and a dot at the centre. If you use it regularly, you can watch for changes in your vision. These changes can let you know if your AMD is getting more serious.
When changes are found early, treatments can help. They can't give you back any lost vision. But they can prevent more vision loss. Treatments may include photodynamic therapy (PDT), laser surgery, or a shot of medicine in the eye.
Your doctor may recommend a vitamin and mineral supplement to help slow the disease. Glasses and contact lenses may help you see better. There are also things you can do to make living with your eye problem easier and safer.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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