Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the area of the retina called the macula. This small area is responsible for producing sharp, central vision required for "straight ahead" activities such as driving, reading, recognizing faces, and performing close-up work.
While scientists are uncertain of its cause, AMD destroys cells in the area of the macula in two different forms, "dry" and "wet." Dry AMD can advance so slowly that people hardly notice it, or it can rapidly progress to the "wet" type with vision loss in one or both eyes.
Special diagnostic tests help to determine whether AMD is causing loss of vision. Treatment for AMD is done in conjunction with retinal specialists to diminish the loss of vision associated with AMD.