About Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is an eye disease that is a leading cause of vision loss in older Americans. The disease affects the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, by damaging the macula. The macula is a small region in the center of the retina that contains millions of cells that give us sharp, central, and color vision. Because AMD is often a progressive disease, it may worsen with time. However, it advances differently from person to person—and even from eye to eye. Some people go for years without noticeable symptoms, while others experience rapid vision loss.
There are two types of AMD: wet and dry. AMD rarely causes complete blindness. Most people keep much of their peripheral—or side vision—and can learn to adapt and use low vision resources to get by with their remaining vision. There are no treatments for early AMD, but a healthy lifestyle, including AREDS2 supplements, can help delay or slow vision loss.
There are treatments available for wet AMD that can not only help slow its progress, but can even restore vision loss in some. Getting detected and treated early is essential for maintaining and even restoring sight lost from AMD.
Facts and Figures
- AMD becomes more common with age, and people over age 60 have the highest risk.
- It affects as many as 11 million Americans, and this number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050.
- Age is a prominent risk factor for AMD—the risk of getting advanced AMD increases from 2 percent for those ages 50-59 to nearly 30 percent for people over the age of 75.
The Alliance for Aging Research in partnership with BrightFocus Foundation has launched an educational awareness campaign titled “Taking a Closer Look at AMD.”
The campaign centers on a short, animated “pocket film” that offers an overview of AMD, including its symptoms, impact on lifestyle, treatments, and more. The Alliance and BrightFocus will also offer additional resources on Twitter using the hashtag #LookatAMD,
For more information about the campaign or to talk with an AMD expert, please contact Noel Lloyd, Alliance director of communications, at 202.370.7852, or Alice Kirkman, BrightFocus Foundation manager of communications and marketing, at 301.556.9349.