What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S., with more than 13 million Americans showing some sign of the disorder. AMD is usually a slow, but variably progressive disease that causes a reduction in central vision – the vision you need for close work like reading a newspaper. It is most common in people over the age of 65. Age-Related Macular Degeneration occurs in two forms. The most common form of AMD is Dry AMD. Drusen, tiny yellow deposits, develop beneath the macula and signal degeneration and thinning of nerve tissue. Wet AMD is less common but requires immediate medical attention to preserve central vision. About 10% of cases of dry macular degeneration develop into the wet form of AMD. Abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the macula leaking blood and fluid onto and underneath the retina.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Within the structure of the eye, there is a very delicate tissue that lines the inside of the eye. This fragile lining is called the retina. The retina receives light and transmits images to the brain. Diabetes causes damage to small blood vessels throughout the body, including the retina. In diabetic retinopathy, damage from deteriorating blood vessels can cause visual problems.