What is Dry Macular Degeneration?

Dry Macular Degeneration

Often called AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration), this chronic disease can result in a blind spot in the center of your field of vision. It results from degeneration of a tissue inside the back of your eye called the retina. The central portion of the retina, which is responsible for sharpest vision is called the macula. It is the macula which is damaged by macular degeneration. Dry macular degeneration has been the subject of intense research, including studies sponsored by the National Eye Institute.**

The most common symptom of dry macular degeneration is slightly blurred vision. You may have difficulty recognizing faces. You may need more light for reading and other tasks. Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye seems unaffected.

Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid detach the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye. Damage to the macula occurs rapidly.

With wet AMD, loss of central vision can occur quickly. Wet AMD is also known as advanced AMD.

 

**Age-Related Eye Disease Study--Results. (2013, May). Retrieved June 4, 2013, from National Eye Institute: http://www.nei.nih.gov/amd/

Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2). (n.d.). Retrieved June 2013, 4, from National Eye Health Institutehttp://www.nei.nih.gov/areds2/

 

AREDS Studies

Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, called “AREDS” for short, was a major landmark medical study sponsored by the National Eye Institute, one of the federal government's National Institutes of Health. It followed about 3,600 participants with varying stages of AMD to see if taking high levels of antioxidant vitamins and zinc over a long period could reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD.

The landmark AREDS study showed that patients diagnosed with moderate to advanced AMD who are most at risk for progression to advanced disease decreased that risk by 25% and reduced the risk of AMD-associated vision loss by 19% by taking a high-potency antioxidant and mineral supplement every day.1,2*.*