University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD) is one of the main causes of vision loss in Americans over 60. It is a condition that destroys the central vision of a person. Central vision is needed to see objects clearly, to read, and to drive. The disease may manifest as the dry or wet form. The wet form is caused when blood vessels grow under the macula and then leak blood and fluid. Dry AMD is caused by the break-down of the light-sensitive cells in the macula. Central vision loss is usually gradual. An early sign of AMD is when straight lines begin to appear crooked.

An examination by your eye doctor is needed to diagnose macular degeneration. Treatments are available that will slow the degeneration of certain types of macular degeneration, it does not restore lost sight.

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last updated: 06-29-2008
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