Macular Degeneration (Age-Related Type) (cont.)

What research is being done?

The National Eye Institute is conducting and supporting a number of studies to learn more about AMD. For example, scientists are:

  • Studying the possibility of transplanting healthy cells into a diseased retina.

  • Evaluating families with a history of AMD to understand genetic and hereditary factors that may cause the disease.

  • Looking at certain anti-inflammatory treatments for the wet form of AMD.

This research should provide better ways to detect, treat, and prevent vision loss in people with AMD.

Macular Degeneration At A Glance
  • 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).
  • Smoking increases the risk of AMD.
  • AMD is a painless condition.
  • There are two types of AMD: dry AMD and wet 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.
  • Dry AMD cannot be treated at present.
  • An early symptom of wet AMD is the wavy appearance of straight lines.
  • Early diagnosis of wet AMD is particularly critical; if in doubt, go to the doctor.
  • Laser surgery can save sight in wet AMD.

SOURCE: U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute

Last Editorial Review: 12/27/2007 6:31:29 PM

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