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Macular Degeneration

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 3, 2024.

What is macular degeneration (MD)?

MD is an eye disease that occurs with aging. The macula (center part) of your retina (back part) declines or becomes damaged. The macula helps you see images in sharp detail. When the macula becomes damaged, it causes blurring or loss of vision in the center of your eyesight.

Macular Degeneration

What are the cause and types of MD?

The exact cause of MD is unknown. MD may occur when the retina does not get enough nutrients. Decreased nutrients cause the supporting tissues of the retina to break down, and waste material collects. The damaged tissues and waste material cause drusen (hard, abnormal tissue growths) to form under the retina. The light-sensitive cells of the eyes are then injured, causing blurring in the center part of your sight. The following are the 2 types of MD:

What increases my risk for MD?

What are the signs and symptoms of MD?

Vision problems may progress slowly or quickly. You may have symptoms in one or both eyes:

How is MD diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your eyes and check for distorted vision. Drops may be placed in your eye so the blood vessels show more clearly. Pictures of your eye may be taken to look for fluid buildup or problems with your retina.

How is MD treated?

The goal of treatment is to slow or stop your MD from getting worse. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I manage my symptoms?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Macular Degeneration

Treatment options

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.