Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60. The disease affects the retina, the paper-thin tissue lining the back of the eye.
In the very center of the retina is the macula, which contains the highest concentration of light-sensitive cells, called cones.
- Cones provide sharp, detailed, central vision used in activities like driving and reading.
- In macular degeneration, cells in the macular region begin to die, causing blind spots and distorted central vision.
- People can develop both types of the disease.
- The disease can affect one or both eyes.
- The disease may progress slowly or rapidly.
Dry macular degeneration may advance and cause vision loss with or without turning into the wet type of the disease. However, not everyone with early AMD will develop the advanced form of the disease.