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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an age-related eye disease that affects the central part of the retina, called the macula, and causes a progressive loss of central vision.

There are two main forms of age-related macular degeneration, which differ from each other: a dry (or atrophic) form and a wet (or exudative) form.
The dry form is the most common (accounting for 85% of cases) and is also the least serious, progressing slowly with mild visual impairment in the early stages, although in the advanced stages it can lead to blindness.
In contrast, the wet form evolves quickly and, due to the formation of abnormal capillaries, can lead to serious consequences for the eyesight.
In some cases the dry form may evolve into the wet form.

No clear-cut causes of age-related macular degeneration have been identified. In general, there are several factors that can increase the risk of developing this eye disease, such as familiarity, age over 55, diabetes or high blood pressure, certain anatomical conditions such as clear irises, an unbalanced diet and frequent and prolonged exposure to UV radiation.

Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive disease and, in its early stages, does not manifest itself with any particular symptoms. Over time, however, some typical symptoms may occur, such as:

  • Reduction of central vision;
  • Distortion of images;
  • Vision of blurred words while reading;
  • Presence of a “blind spot” in the centre of the visual field (scotoma).
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Pathology image


The diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is performed by a medical specialist, the ophthalmologist. The specialist will be able to make a diagnosis by performing an eye examination, including a fundus examination, as well as administering some image distortion tests.
In order to indicate the best treatment for each situation, the ophthalmologist may request additional retinal-specific examinations, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), fluorangiography, etc.


Treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) varies depending on the form diagnosed.

There is currently no real cure for the dry form. In such cases, the specialist may suggest adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking special food supplements to try to slow down the progression of the disease.

In cases of wet age-related macular degeneration, however, it is necessary to try to close the abnormal capillaries or counteract their formation by means of intravitreal pharmacological injections or, in selected cases, laser treatment.