Macular Degeneration

What Is It?

Macular degeneration is a common cause of blindness and vision problems among older people. Macular degeneration is also called age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.

AMD damages the macula. The macula is a part of the eye that is responsible for seeing sharp details directly in the center of the field of vision. Damage caused by AMD can interfere with:

  • The ability to see straight ahead. This is necessary for driving and viewing distances, such as when recognizing faces or watching television.

  • Fine, detailed vision. This is necessary for reading newsprint, sewing, working with crafts and making repairs.

Most people with AMD have fluffy, yellow-white spots on the macula. These spots are called drusen. Not everyone who gets AMD has these spots.

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