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Eye Conditions

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), is a medical condition which may result in blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field. Early on there are often no symptoms. Over time, however, some people experience a gradual worsening of vision that may affect one or both eyes. While it does not result in complete blindness, loss of central vision can make it hard to recognize faces, drive, read, or perform other activities of daily life.

Macular degeneration typically occurs in older people. Genetic factors and smoking also play a role. It is due to damage to the macula of the retina. Diagnosis is by a complete eye exam. The severity is divided into early, intermediate, and late types. The late type is additionally divided into "dry" and "wet" forms with the dry form making up 90% of cases.

Treatment

Unfortunately, at this time there is no single proven treatment for the dry form of macular degeneration.

Treating the wet form of macular degeneration may involve the use of anti-VEGF treatment. Treatment of wet macular degeneration generally reduces—but does not eliminate-- the risk of severe vision loss.

Your ophthalmologist administers the anti-VEGF drug (such as Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea) directly to your eye in an outpatient procedure. You may receive multiple anti-VEGF injections over the course of many months. Repeat anti-VEGF treatments are often needed for continued benefit.