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Learn About Macular Degeneration

The number of people living with macular degeneration is expected to reach 196 million worldwide by 2020 and increase to 288 million by 2040. Age is a prominent risk factor for age-related macular degeneration. The risk of getting advanced age-related macular degeneration increases from 2% for those ages 50-59, to nearly 30% for those over the age of 75.

The macula is the central & most sensitive part of the retina, it is responsible for central & fine detail vision. With AMD it is this particular part of the eye that is affected, & as the disease advances central vision is impaired. Many everyday activities rely upon the macular functioning well, AMD can have significant effects on a person’s quality of life.

There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet.

  • The dry form of macular degeneration, in which the light sensitive cells of the macula slowly break down, is the most common type, accounting for 90 percent of diagnosed cases.

  • Wet macular degeneration accounts for approximately 10 percent of cases, but results in 90 percent of legal blindness. It is considered advanced macular degeneration (there is no early or intermediate stage of wet macular degeneration). Wet macular degeneration is always preceded by the dry form of the disease.

  • It is possible for dry macular degeneration to advance and cause loss of vision without turning into the wet form of the disease; however, it is also possible for early-stage dry age-related macular degeneration to suddenly change into the wet form.




Rocky Mountain Retina Associates can help diagnose macular degeneration and determine which form(s) of the disease you have.

  • To help diagnose macular degeneration, one of our eye care professionals will perform a dilated eye exam and testing such as fundoscopy, a visual acuity test, and fundus photography. If wet age-related macular degeneration is suspected, fluorescein angiography may be performed, in which dye is used to detect leaking blood vessels. The patient may also be asked to look at an Amsler grid.

A healthy lifestyle may help reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.

  • The following lifestyle changes are recommended:

    • Don't smoke

    • Exercise regularly

    • Keep blood pressure in a normal range and control other medical conditions

    • Maintain a healthy weight

    • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and fish, and in low foods that rapidly raise blood sugar

    • Protect eyes from overexposure to sunlight with sunglasses and hats

The Rocky Mountain Retina Associates team is here for Macular Degeneration cases. Locally owned and operated, the doctors and staff are a team dedicated to excellence in medical and surgical care. We prioritize personalized and collaborative service and communication with both patients and referring providers. To schedule an appointment today, complete our appointment request form: Appointment Request

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