Age Related Macular Degenerations

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. ARMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. ARMD causes no pain. In some cases, ARMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. ARMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older. ARMD occurs in two forms: wet and dry

Normal Vision
Vision with ARMD

Which is more common-the dry form or the wet form?
The dry form is much more common. More than 85 percent of all people with intermediate and advanced ARMD combined have the dry form. However, if only advanced ARMD is considered, about two-thirds of patients have the wet form. Because almost all vision loss comes from advanced ARMD, the wet form leads to significantly more vision loss than the dry form.
What are the symptoms? Both dry and wet ARMD cause no pain.

  1. For dry ARMD: the most common early sign is blurred vision. As fewer cells in the macula are able to function, people will see details less clearly in front of them, such as faces or words in a book. Often this blurred vision will go away in brighter light. If the loss of these light-sensing cells becomes great, people may see a small--but growing--blind spot in the middle of their field of vision.

  2. For wet ARMD: the classic early symptom is that straight lines appear crooked. This results when fluid from the leaking blood vessels gathers and lifts the macula, distorting vision. A small blind spot may also appear in wet AMD, resulting in loss of one's central vision.

How is ARMD detected?
Your eye care professional may suspect AMD if you are over age 60 and have had recent changes in your central vision. To look for signs of the disease, he or she will use eye drops to dilate, or enlarge, your pupils. Dilating the pupils allows your eye care professional to view the back of the eye better. ARMD is detected during a comprehensive eye exam that includes:

  1. Visual acuity test. This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.
  2. Dilated eye exam. Drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of ARMD and other eye problems. After the exam, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.

​How can I take care of my vision now that I have ARMD?

If you have dry ARMD, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Also, if you have intermediate ARMD in one or both eyes, or advanced ARMD in one eye only, your doctor may suggest that you take the AREDS formulation containing the high levels of antioxidants and zinc. Because dry ARMD can turn into wet ARMD at any time, you should get an Amsler grid from your eye care professional. Use the grid every day to evaluate your vision for signs of wet ARMD. If you detect any changes in the appearance of this grid or in your everyday vision while reading the newspaper or watching television, get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.


MacuHealth vitamins are now available in our office. Please give us a call or come by to pick it up!

  • MacuHealth vitamins are composed of 10mg Meso-Zeaxanthin (MZ), 10mg Lutein, and 2mg Zeaxanthin. These potent anti-oxidants are known as macular pigment (MP) carotenoids, which is essential for optimal visual function.

  • This is the only formula containing all 3 natural macular antioxidant in the ideal ratio for optimum Macular Health and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) protection.

  • Bottom line, supplementation with MP carotenoids can enhance vision in non-diseased, diseased eye, and may reduce risk of AMD's development and/or progression (see picture results below)

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