Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an ailment that affects the retina at the back of your eye; the central portion of a retina, which is called the macula, becomes damaged or distorted. As a result, AMD degrades the central portion of your field of vision.
There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD refers to damage to the light sensitive cells that make up the retina. It causes gradual blurring of central vision. Wet AMD occurs when fragile, abnormal blood vessels grow behind the macula, which may leak and lead to a buildup of blood that distorts the retina. Initially, wet AMD can make straight lines appear wavy, and eventually it may radically obscure central vision.
Although both wet AMD and advanced cases of dry AMD can lead to sever vision damage, wet AMD only develops in people who initially suffered from the dry form.
Doctors diagnose AMD by checking your eyesight with vision charts, directly examining the retina, or measuring the pressure in your eyeballs. Smoking and obesity may be factors that increase the risk of developing AMD. Women are more likely to develop AMD than men, and people with AMD in their family history are at higher risk. The disease typically strikes people in their middle age years, and the risks of developing AMD increase with age.