As a disease usually associated with aging, macular degeneration is also called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), though there are other, less common types of macular degeneration.
Macular Degeneration Symptoms
The primary symptom of macular degeneration is a gradual loss of central vision.
The disease presents in two forms: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. Of the two, the dry form is far more common. Both types affect the macula, the light-sensitive area in the central region of the retina.
Macular Degeneration Statistics
- Currently, 2.1 million people ages 50 and older have late age-related macular degeneration.
- People of European ethnicity are far more likely to lose vision from AMD than African-Americans, and studies show that obesity, smoking, and exposure to ultraviolet rays may also be risk factors for developing the disease.
- Macular degeneration tends to affect women more than men, and has also been linked to heredity.
- The “dry” form of the disease affects up to 90% of patients with macular degeneration.
- The “wet” form of macular degeneration is characterized by rapid progression and permanent vision loss.
- The small defects in the retina, called Retinal Drusen, are a common finding in early age-related macular degeneration.