Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD); AMD; senile macular degeneration (SMD) is an older name that is no longer in common use.
Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that slowly destroys sharp, central vision. This makes it difficult to see fine details and read.
The disease is most common in people over age 60, which is why it is often called age-related macular degeneration.
The retina is the inner layer of tissue at the back of the eye. It changes light and images that enter the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. The macula is the part of the retina that makes vision sharper and more detailed.
Macular degeneration is caused by damage to the area around blood vessels that supply the macula. This change in the blood vessels damages the macula.
Two phases of macular degeneration (AMD) exist:
Scientists are not sure what causes AMD. The condition is rare before age 55, and is most often seen in adults 75 years or older.
In addition to heredity, other risk factors are:
Benson WE. Acquired macular disease. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2009:chap 23.
Gohel PS, Mandava N, Olson JL, Durairaj VD. Age-related macular degeneration: an update on treatment. Am J Med. 2008;121(4):279-281.
Rosenfeld PJ, Martidis A, Tennant MTS. Age-related macular degeneration. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo:Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 6.27.
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