Macular degeneration also referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), is a disease that can blur your vision. It affects the sharp, central vision you need for activities like reading, watching TV, and driving. Because it has an impact on visual acuity, recognizing faces, using a computer, and other visual tasks that require us to see fine detail can become distorted. It is caused by changes in the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for clear vision. As the condition becomes more advanced, the center of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted, or even dark.

While blurred vision is a key symptom of macular degeneration people also may experience:

While the causes of age-related macular degeneration are complex, several risk factors include:

  • Aging
  • Obesity and inactivity
  • A family history of AMD
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Lighter eye color

Having heart disease and high cholesterol levels are both risk factors for AMD.

Diabetic Eye Diseases


Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting people aged 50 years and older. There are two types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. About 90 percent of cases involve dry AMD. Dry AMD is a condition in which layers of the macula get progressively thinner. And the other 10 percent of cases involve wet AMD. Wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula.

Because macular degeneration has few symptoms in the early stages, it is important to have your eyes examined regularly. If you have questions about AMD or need to book an eye exam call us at (805) 522-7007 to learn how we can help.

The health of the macula determines our ability to read, recognize faces, drive, watch television, use a computer, and perform any other visual task that requires us to see fine detail.

Regardless of your age or physical health getting an annual eye exam is important.