Age Related Macular Degeneration

The leading cause of vision problems in the United States is a condition known as age related macular degeneration or AMD.  The prevalence of AMD in the US is around 15 million and this number is likely to increase as our population continues to grow older.  AMD is the leading cause of vision problems in our patients age 60 and over. At Gateway Ophthalmology we are committed to provide our patients with the best possible technology to combat this disease.  With our recent acquisition of Topcons Maestro 3D-OCT, we are better able to detect early changes in AMD and treat earlier when necessary.

 Age related Macular Degeneration-Courtsey of Gateway Ophthalmology, PLLC

Age related Macular Degeneration-Courtsey of Gateway Ophthalmology, PLLC

As AMD develops, it starts to effect the macular area of the retina.  The macula is the center part of the retina that serves fine vision.  When the macula continues to deteriorate vision can become distorted and blurry.  The biggest risk factor for AMD is age. Other risk factors include smoking, race, genetics, and family history.  Smoking more than doubles your risk for AMD.  AMD is more common among white patients than African-Americans or Hispanics/Latinos.

Patients with AMD usually report distorted or blurry vision.  As AMD progresses, the blurry spot may increase and blank spots in vision may form.  AMD does not usually lead to blindness but can cause our patients the loss of their ability to drive and perform other activities of daily living.

AMD effects patients in two forms. That vast majority of our patients have the “dry” form of AMD which there is currently no good treatment.  The “wet” form is less prevalent but more aggressive and can be treated with anti-vegf drugs and laser therapy