Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (sometimes called "AMD" or "ARMD"), a serious threat to vision, can result in permanent blindness if not detected and treated promptly.

This disease affects the macula, a critical component of the eye's retina that handles central vision. The macula changes light into nerve signals that then travel through the optic nerve to the brain. Macular degeneration blurs images and fine print, and can distort vision.

There are two types of macular degeneration, "dry" and "wet."

Dry Macular Degeneration

The most common form, "dry" macular degeneration accounts for 90% of ARMD cases but is responsible for only 10% of blindness caused by this disease. The light-sensing cells of the macula slowly break down and central vision deteriorates.

Wet Macular Degeneration

The relatively rare "wet" form of macular degeneration is responsible for about 10% of reported cases of ARMD, but the chance of going blind from this form are much higher. In this form, new blood vessels grow under the macula. These vessel are weak and can leak blood that damages the macula, causing vision to diminish very quickly.

What Causes Macular Degeneration?

Some factors that may increase risk of developing macular degeneration include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Over-exposure to sunlight and UV radiation
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Poor diet
With AMD Without AMD

What is the Amsler Grid?

The Amsler Grid is a simple tool to help test the macula. Early detection is your best defense against vision loss caused by macular degeneration. It takes only two minutes a day to test your eyes for vision changes that may be caused by macular degeneration!

  1. Click the button below, print it and tape it up in a well-lit area at eye level.
  2. Stand approximately 24 inches away from the grid.
  3. If you use reading glasses, put them on.
  4. Cover one eye with your hand.
  5. Focus on the dot at the center of the grid for one full minute.
  6. Repeat the process for the other eye.

If any of the lines on the grid are blurred, wavy, or even missing, call (719) 632-3547 to schedule a “dilated” eye exam.