Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes the loss of the sharp, central vision needed for many daily tasks.
Macular degeneration most often occurs as people age, although a form of it can affect children.
Symptoms of macular degeneration include fuzzy or blurry vision, an empty or dark area in the center of your vision, straight lines such as telephone poles or sentences on a page that appear to be wavy, and a dimming of vision when reading.
The two types of age-related macular degeneration are dry AMD and wet AMD. Wet AMD causes most of the blindness that can result from macular degeneration.
There is no proven treatment for dry AMD, but because it can progress to the more serious wet AMD, regular eye exams are important.
In its early stages, wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery or photodynamic therapy.
Laser therapy involves using a laser beam to destroy new blood vessels growing in the eye. The goal is to prevent additional loss of vision.
Photodynamic therapy involves injecting the patient with a special drug that flows into the abnormal blood vessels in the eye. A special laser focused on these vessels causes a chemical reaction that destroys abnormal vessels.
New surgical techniques and new medications are under investigation to treat macular degeneration.