Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD you lose your central vision. Thus you cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something at near or far. But your peripheral (side) vision will still be normal.
Eye anatomy diagram
For example, if you are looking at a clock: with AMD you might see the clock’s numbers but not the hands.
AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older.
This form of AMD is quite common. About 80% people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. With this form, your vision loss would occur slowly. There is currently no way to treat dry AMD.
This form of AMD is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.
Many people don’t realize they have AMD until their vision is very blurry. This is why it is important to have regular eye tests at an ophthalmologist. He or she can look for early signs of AMD before you have any vision problems.