Macular Degeneration

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Health Facts for You

UW Health eye care service specialists offer comprehensive care for macular degeneration, a disorder of the macula - part of the retina - responsible for central vision.


About Macular Degeneration


The retina is the layer of tissue at the back of the eye that converts images to electrical signals sent via the optic nerve to be interpreted by the brain. The macula is the part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision.


The cause of macular degeneration is unknown. It is most common among people 60 years old and older and is usually first diagnosed as a result of blurred vision.


Facts About Macular Degeneration

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by the deterioration of the macula, resulting in the loss of the middle of the normal field of vision
  • Vision may appear blurred or darkened making it difficult to see details, though peripheral vision remains generally unaffected
  • Vision loss as a result of age-related macular degeneration is irreversible, but may be slowed with medications or laser surgery
  • New research at UW Health and the University of Wisconsin is testing whether injections are beneficial in restoring lost vision
  • Age-related macular degeneration develops naturally as the body ages and may affect only one eye or both
  • People who have age-related macular degeneration should see their doctor on a yearly basis to monitor the disease progression