Ophthalmology

What you need to know about wet macular degeneration

Millions of people deal with age-related macular degeneration as they get older, but many don't understand the difference between types of the condition or what they can do to lessen the effects. Dr. Sophie Bakri, a Mayo ...

Neuroscience

Faulty molecular master switch may contribute to AMD

A signaling pathway controlled by transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) could be involved in the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National ...

Genetics

Aging and chronic diseases share genetic factors, study reveals

The global population age 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups and faces the tide of chronic diseases threatening their quality of life and posing challenges to healthcare and economic systems. To better ...

Neuroscience

Modeling the most common form of vision loss in older adults

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects roughly 200,000 individuals in the United States each year. In most, it comes on slowly, gradually blurring the central field of vision used for activities like reading and driving. ...

Ophthalmology

The blood test that could save sight

A new blood test is being developed at The Australian National University (ANU) that can detect patients at risk of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and potentially save millions of people from going blind.

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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA