Macular Degeneration: What Is It and Are You At Risk?

This is what vision with macular degeneration looks like.

You use your central vision for just about everything you do! Could you imagine if it was gone? Unfortunately, people over the age of 60 have an increased risk of an eye disease that damages your central vision known as macular degeneration (also known as age-related macular degeneration, AMD or ARMD).

In the video below, Dr. Omar Punjabi talks about what you need to know about macular degeneration.

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is an eye disease where there is damage to your macula, the area in your eye responsible for capturing your central vision.

RELATED: Diabetic Retinopathy: What Is It and Are You At Risk?

This is vision with macular degeneration

ARMD risk factors

A few of the main risk factors for developing macular degeneration include:

  • Advancing age
  • Smoking
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • A diet low in vitamins
  • Having a family member with the disease
  • Being White

Risk factors for macular degeneration

Wet vs Dry AMRD

There are two main forms of this disease, the wet form (exudative) and the dry form (nonexudative).

The dry form is more common, often leads to gradual vision loss and needs to be monitored carefully over time as it can develop into the wet form.

On the other hand, the wet form is associated with bleeding or leakage from abnormal blood vessels inside your eye and can lead to rapidly occurring, severe vision loss. If you have the wet form, you would see a retinal surgeon for proper management.

RELATED: Macular Degeneration: Exciting New Treatment Options

This is what macular degeneration looks like

If you are at risk of having macular degeneration, make sure to schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional today!

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Omar Punjabi, MD is a retina specialist and vitreo-retinal surgeon at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates (CEENTA) in Charlotte, North Carolina. He completed his fellowship training in retinal diseases and vitreo-retinal surgery at the prestigious Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Punjabi has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles and presented numerous scientific abstracts and text-book chapters. During fellowship he received the Best Fellow Teacher of the Year award, and was the recipient of the Heed Fellowship from the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation. He has won several academic awards and scholarships during his residency training at Northwestern University and during medical school. Prior to his residency training, he spent a year as a research fellow at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL and worked on the development of the spectral domain OCT. He has received several research awards including the Beem-Fisher Award in 2010, the Research Award from Northwestern University in 2010 and the National Eye Institute travel grant in 2006. Dr. Punjabi is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Society of Heed Fellows. His areas of interest include medical and surgical diseases of the retina and vitreous, including retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular diseases, diabetic retinopathy and ocular trauma.