Age-related macular degeneration, often called AMD or ARMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among Americans who are age 65 and older. AMD is a degeneration of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for the sharp central vision needed to read or drive. Because the macula primarily is affected in AMD, central vision loss may occur.
Macular degeneration is diagnosed as either dry or wet, with dry being more common. The dry form is considered the early stage of the disease and may result from aging and thinning of macular tissues, depositing of pigment in the macula or a combination of the two. The wet form of the disease usually leads to more serious vision loss.
No FDA-approved treatments are available for dry macular degeneration, although a few are now in clinical trials.