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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss in people over age 60. It typically causes a blurred area in the center of your vision.

The macula is an area near the center of the retina (light-sensitive area at the back of the eye) that is important for central vision. You need it for activities such as reading, driving and fixing things around the house. In age-related macular degeneration, the macula becomes damaged. Over time, you might develop blank or dark spots in your central vision, even though your peripheral (side) vision is fine.

In the early stages of age-related macular degeneration, you might not have vision loss or other symptoms. This disease typically takes many years to develop.

Age-related macular degeneration comes in two types:

  • Dry age-related macular degeneration. In this version of the disease, the macula breaks down and becomes thin. Ninety percent of people with age-related macular degeneration have this type.
  • Wet age-related macular degeneration. In this condition, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. They can leak blood and other fluid, damaging the macula and causing vision loss over just a few months.

Fortunately, dry age-related macular degeneration typically progresses slowly, and you may never develop severe vision loss. Although there is no treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration, vitamin therapy and a healthy lifestyle may prevent it from becoming worse. Regular comprehensive dilated eye examinations catch any signs that the condition is advancing.

For wet age-related macular degeneration, we provide treatment using the latest techniques and equipment. Several options are available to limit abnormal blood vessel growth that damages the macula.

Age-related macular degeneration affects one or both eyes. Besides aging, risk factors include family history, blue eyes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and smoking.

If you have age-related macular degeneration, you are not alone. At Indiana University Health, our goal is to slow or halt the progress of the disease and help you maintain your vision.

As part of the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute is a hub of eye health research. Our faculty members are studying a variety of approaches for more effective treatment of age-related macular degeneration and many other eye conditions. 

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment Information

Options for managing age-related macular degeneration include:

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Locations & Physicians

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration Support Services

Understanding age-related macular degeneration helps you to manage it. These websites provide information and resources: