Age-Related Macular Degeneration

A Vision-Stealing Disease

Macular degeneration (or AMD) is a potentially vision-stealing disease from which there are no known cures and very limited treatment options.

With AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral (side) vision will still be normal. For instance, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD, you might see the clock’s numbers but not the hands.

AMD is very common. It is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years or older.

Macular Degeneration l Armstrong Optometry & Associates l Greenwood, Indiana

What to Know


This is by far the most common and has three different levels: mild, moderate and severe. All present with flecks of a protein particle (known as drusen) which impair vision on the retina – severe AMD presents with more drusen (and thus reduced vision) compared to moderate and mild cases. You can also develop a blurred spot in the center of your vision as the macula slowly breaks down.


In addition to a high number of drusen obscuring vision (they appear as little spots overlaid on your eyesight), proliferative AMD also causes blood cells inside the eyeball to weaken and eventually rupture, spilling obstructive fluids around the macula. This can lead to irreversible blindness.

There are several novel treatments available for Wet AMD. Early Detection is one of the most important factors in preserving vision.

If it has been a while since your last exam, and you’re over 50 years old, you should arrange an appointment as soon as you can, just to be on the safe side.

Who Is At Risk

  • eat a diet high in saturated fat (found in foods like meat, butter, and cheese)
  • are overweight
  • smoke cigarettes
  • are over 50 years old
  • have hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • have a family history of AMD
  • have heart disease
  • have high cholesterol levels
  • Caucasians also have an elevated risk

How We Help

The best way to arm yourself against AMD is through regularly scheduled eye exams so we can spot the disease as early as possible. We can help manage the condition effectively, perhaps without any lasting impact on your eyesight. 

Technology, Testing and Diagnosis

Depending on the level of deterioration around the macula (the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision) we may make this diagnosis before any vision loss has occurred.

Ocular Coherence Tomography

Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a standard part of all eye exams at our practice and produces a high-resolution, 3D image of the retina. Even the earliest stages of AMD can be detected through this single test by assessing swelling of the retina or observing any distortion of the retinal layers.

Fluorescein Angiography

One of our optometrists may inject a dye into your bloodstream. Since AMD presents with leaking blood vessels inside the eye, images will show whether any of the dye spills into the macula – if there is a visible dye, this is a strong indicator of AMD.

Amsler Grid

Since AMD affects your central vision, we may use an Amsler grid to assess your visual acuity. If the results are suggestive of AMD (remember you could experience vision loss without actually noticing yourself) then, together with our other tests, we can confirm the diagnosis.