Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults.

As we age, we become more susceptible to developing eye conditions, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease characterized by a loss of central vision in the macula, the center of the retina. As the macula becomes compromised, your vision deteriorates and you lose your ability to see fine details.

How can macular degeneration affect my vision?

Age-related macular degeneration on its own does not end in complete blindness, but without your central vision, you are left only with the ability to see out of the corners of the eyes. Symptoms may include the distortion of straight lines or distorted central vision, central blind spots, color vision defects and hazy vision. People with this eye disorder struggle with everyday tasks, including:

  • Identifying faces
  • Driving
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Watching TV

Are there different macular degeneration types?

There are two types of age-related macular degeneration:

  • Dry macular degeneration: This is the most common form and is a result of the macula deteriorating over time.
  • Wet macular degeneration: Also known as exudative macular degeneration, this form accounts for 10-15 percent of total AMD cases, but represents the majority of macular degeneration vision loss. It is caused by abnormal blood vessels in the macula that rupture, causing fluid to leak into the macula – a condition known as choroidal neovascularization.

How do you diagnose age-related macular degeneration?

Your Henry Ford ophthalmologist may use a standard eye exam, fluorescein angiogram and optical coherence tomography to make a macular degeneration diagnosis. You can also assess your vision for distortion and other common macular degeneration symptoms by taking the Amsler Grid test at home.

What types of treatment do you offer for macular degeneration?

There is no cure for macular degeneration, but some treatments may help you to see better. Your specific treatment will depend on the type of macular degeneration you have, and may include:

  • Laser therapy
  • Intraocular injections
  • Special reading glasses
  • Vitamins
  • Lifestyle changes

In addition, our retinal specialists work closely with the Henry Ford Center for Vision Rehabilitation and Research and the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, connecting macular degeneration patients with low-vision specialists who can help patients adapt to life with vision loss.

At Henry Ford, patients come first.

The Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology is committed to providing our patients with compassionate, personalized care. We feature the most advanced treatments in eye care and are dedicated to vision research – always staying at the forefront of innovation. A leader in Michigan, as well as one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the United States, we treat more than 55,000 patients per year at 12 locations throughout southeast Michigan. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it.

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