Ophthalmology

Many older people's lens prescriptions are wrong

Overall, Swedish 70-year-olds' eyesight is good, but many could see even better. Six in ten can improve their vision by getting eyeglasses or changing the power of the glasses they already have, according to a new study from ...

Ophthalmology

Americans lack knowledge about eye health

Americans' lack of knowledge about eye health may put their vision at risk, according to a survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Ophthalmology

New cell models for ocular drug discovery

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have developed two new cell models that can open up new avenues for ocular drug discovery. The new cell models are continuously growing retinal pigment epithelial cells, which ...

Ophthalmology

Potential way to halt blinding macular degeneration identified

Researchers have successfully treated age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in mice after finding an unexpected link between the two main forms of the blinding eye disease, the leading cause of vision loss in people 60 and ...

Medical research

Researchers identify gene with functional role in aging of eye

A lengthy-named gene called Elongation of Very Long Chain Fatty Acids Protein 2 or ELOVL2 is an established biomarker of age. In a new paper, published online January 14, 2020 in the journal Aging Cell, researchers at University ...

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a medical condition which usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in “dry” and “wet” forms. It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults (>50 years). Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

Starting from the inside of the eye and going towards the back, the three main layers at the back of the eye are the retina, which contains the nerves; the choroid, which contains the blood supply; and the sclera, which is the white of the eye.

The macula is the central area of the retina, which provides the most detailed central vision.

In the dry (nonexudative) form, cellular debris called drusen accumulate between the retina and the choroid, and the retina can become detached. In the wet (exudative) form, which is more severe, blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina, and the retina can also become detached. It can be treated with laser coagulation, and with medication that stops and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels.

Although some macular dystrophies affecting younger individuals are sometimes referred to as macular degeneration, the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD).

Age-related macular degeneration begins with characteristic yellow deposits (drusen) in the macula, between the retinal pigment epithelium and the underlying choroid. Most people with these early changes (referred to as age-related maculopathy) have good vision. People with drusen can go on to develop advanced AMD. The risk is considerably higher when the drusen are large and numerous and associated with disturbance in the pigmented cell layer under the macula. Recent research suggests that large and soft drusen are related to elevated cholesterol deposits and may respond to cholesterol-lowering agents.

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