Macular Degeneration

  • Medical Author:
    Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS

    Andrew A. Dahl, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Dahl's educational background includes a BA with Honors and Distinction from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and an MD from Cornell University, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He had an internal medical internship at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View the Eye Diseases and Conditions Slideshow Pictures
Blurry vision is an early symptom of age-related macular degeneration.

Early Symptom of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision refers to a lack of sharpness of vision resulting in the inability to see fine detail. Blurred vision may result from abnormalities present at birth such as nearsightedness or farsightedness that require corrective lenses (eyeglasses) or it may signal the presence of eye disease. Blurry vision may be experienced in one eye or in both eyes, depending upon the cause.

Quick GuideCommon Eye Problems and Infections

Common Eye Problems and Infections

Macular degeneration facts

  • The macula is in the center of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. The macula is responsible for central vision (straight-ahead vision). Degeneration of the macula occurs most often after the age of 60 years and is termed age-related macular generation (AMD).
  • AMD is a painless condition.
  • There are two types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD.
  • Smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, a diet high in unsaturated fats and simple carbohydrates and lack of exercise all increase the risk of AMD.
  • Early symptoms of dry AMD include slightly blurred vision, the need for more light for reading, and difficulty recognizing faces until very close to the person. A symptom of more advanced dry AMD is the presence of a blurred spot in the center of vision. An early symptom of wet AMD is the wavy appearance of straight lines.
  • Dry AMD cannot be treated at present, but progression can be slowed through a healthy lifestyle and sometimes with antioxidant vitamins. Injections into the eye of anti-angiogenic agents are successfully used in arresting or slowing wet AMD. Because of new therapies for the wet form of AMD, early diagnosis of wet AMD is particularly critical.
Picture of the eye
Diagram of the eye
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/6/2016

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  • Macular Degeneration - Signs and Symptoms

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  • Macular Degeneration - Treatment for Wet Macular Degeneration

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