Age-Related Macular Degeneration

macular degeneration amsler grid

Q: My grandmother is 82, and started to have issues seeing details such as letters and faces. She had cataract surgery years ago. What could this be?

A: It could be a serious condition called age-related macular degeneration — or AMD or ARMD. It’s caused by a deterioration of the macula, which is the small central area of the retina of the eye that controls central vision and visual acuity.

The health of the macula determines our ability to see details such as the ability to read, recognize faces, watch television, and use a computer or phone.  Common risk factors include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, inactivity and having a family history of the disease. Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration.  There are treatments for the wet form of AMD that involves an injection called anti-VEGF into the eye. This reduces the amount of new blood vessels that grow and cause swelling in the retina.