The initials AMD are an abbreviation for a disorder called age-related macular degeneration. AMD is a degenerative disease that affects the macula, which is responsible for sight in the center of the field of vision and is the most sensitive part of the retina. The condition affects central vision.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment for persons age 75 and older. It is the most common cause of new cases of visual impairment among those over age 65. As AMD progresses, symptoms will become more and more obvious. If you have AMD, you may notice that:
- Straight lines in your field of vision, such as telephone poles, the sides of buildings, and streetlight posts appear wavy.
- Type in books, magazines and newspapers appears blurry.
- Dark or empty spaces may block the center of your vision.
Early diagnosis of AMD by an eye doctor is very important. Fortunately, AMD almost never results in complete blindness since side vision is usually not affected. However, when a substantial amount of central vision is lost, people with AMD may find it very difficult to do simple, everyday activities that require sharp vision.
Source: Reprinted with permission from PREVENT BLINDNESS AMERICA. Copyright 2002.