Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)

What is ARMD?

ARMD is the medical term used to describe changes in the macula of the retina. The macula is a small portion of retina that is responsible for central vision. Once this vision is lost, it can not be restored. ARMD can either be “dry” or “wet” depending on its progression.

What are the Symptoms of ARMD?

  • Dark/Empty area in central vision
  • Gradual loss of vision/Distorted vision
  • Loss of color vision

How Common is ARMD?
ARMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over 50. It is estimated that 1.8 million Americans have ARMD. Another 7.3 million Americans are considered at risk for ARMD development. Caucasians and women are at a higher risk for ARMD development.

What Causes ARMD?
Dry ARMD is caused when the tissue of the macula thins and stops functioning properly. Wet ARMD is caused when new vessels that grow under the macula begin to leak and damage vision. This damage can often times be very rapid.

How is ARMD Diagnosed?
Diagnosing ARMD begins with a comprehensive eye exam at Shanks Family Eye Care. During this exam, your doctor uses tests to evaluate your vision and the health of your retina. ARMD requires frequent exams by your eye doctor to monitor progression.

How is ARMD Treated?

The is no cure for the dry form of ARMD. There is a link between nutrition and the health of the macula. Eating lots of leafy-green vegetables and low-fat foods can boost macular health. Nutritional supplements may also aide in a healthy macula.

Wet ARMD can be treated with a laser or medications. The laser seals off the leaky blood vessels that lead to vision loss.

Macular Degeneration Resources

Macular Degeneration Network: