Impact of AMD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the #1 cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60. It is a serious disease that in some cases can progress quickly and destroy your eyesight. And unfortunately, once vision is lost, it may never be regained.
AMD is a progressive condition that damages the part of your retina responsible for central vision. However, it almost never destroys all of your vision. In almost all cases, you will still have your side or peripheral vision, and be able to see shapes, light, and movement. This is similar to what you see when looking out of the corner of your eye.
With advancing AMD, you may notice changes in your central vision, and doing everyday things may become more difficult. Your vision may be blurry or wavy in the middle.You may not be able to read letters or lines right in front of you on your doctor’s eye chart, in a book, or on signs. You may see dark spots, called scotomas, blocking your vision. Eventually you may not be able to participate in activities that need good central vision, such as sewing, golfing, or driving a car.
The good news is there are medical treatments that can slow wet AMD. Your eye doctor can tell you about treatments to help slow vision loss and keep your eyesight longer.
Living with AMD
If you already have wet AMD (AMD that causes vision loss) in one eye, you have about a 50% chance of developing it in the other eye within 5 years. The most important action you can take to preserve your vision is to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
Regardless of which form of AMD you have, you can take actions to protect your vision. Here are some key ways that can help you stay healthy:
• Consistently follow your treatment plan. Attend all of your follow-up appointments
• Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk for AMD. Don’t be shy about asking your doctor for help
• Control other diseases that might hurt your eyes, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol
• Wear sunglasses and a hat to block out harmful sunlight
• Eat foods rich in antioxidants such
as dark green leafy vegetables and carrots
• Take supplements as recommended by your doctor, such as vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Talk to your doctor before taking any new treatment, including supplements
There are many resources to help you learn more about AMD. Contact these organizations to get more information on how to cope with vision loss or to find a support group. Go to the Educational Resources section of this web site to learn more about available support for vision loss.
Ask your eye doctor about treatments that can help you take control of your disease.
Learn more about MACUGEN, approved to treat wet AMD
To listen to the full prescribing information regarding MACUGEN, please click on the link entitled "Important Safety Information" on the menu bar located on the left of the screen.