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macular degeneration

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in the Western world in the over 50 age group!

What is Macular Degeneration?

Age-related Macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative condition of the macula or central retina. It is the most common cause of vision loss in the Western world in the over 50 age group. It most commonly affects those of northern European descent and is uncommon in African-Americans and Hispanics. The prevalence increases with age. It affects about 15% of the population by age 55 and over 30% are affected by age 75.

How a patient with macular degeneration might see the world.


Macular degeneration can cause loss of central vision and make reading or driving impossible but macular degeneration does not cause complete blindness since peripheral vision is not affected.

Macular Degeneration Causes

Macular degeneration probably arises from a variety of factors. Genetics, age, nutrition, smoking, and sunlight exposure may all play a role.

What is the difference between Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration can be classified as either dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular).

macular degeneration

Macular Degeneration Prevention

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: Several recent studies have indicated a strong link to a nutritional component in the development of macular degeneration. It has been scientifically demonstrated that people with diets high in fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) have a lower incidence of macular degeneration. More studies are needed to determine if nutritional supplements can prevent progression in patients with existing disease.

Amsler Grid


  1. Use with reading light, reading distance, and reading glasses
  2. Cover one eye
  3. Look at center dot
  4. Note irregularities (wavy, size, gray, fuzzy)
  5. Test other eye
  6. If the lines of the grid do not look straight or areas appear to be missing and / or distorted call us at 895-2020 to schedule an appointment with a retinal specialist.

Amsler Grid Change

Macular Degeneration Treatments

There exists no proven medical therapy for dry macular degeneration. In selected cases of wet macular degeneration, laser photocoagulation is effective in sealing leaking or bleeding vessels. Unfortunately, laser photocoagulation usually does not restore lost vision but only prevents further loss. Early diagnosis is critical for successful treatment of wet macular degeneration. When used on a regular basis, an Amsler grid is an effective tool in the early recognition of wet macular degeneration.

For more information call Florida Eye Center at 727-895-2020.



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Medical Director

Mark A. Sibley, MD, FACS
LASIK, Refractive, Cataract, and Laser Specialist
Board Certified Eye Surgeon

Contact & Hours

Phone: (727) 895-2020
Fax: (727) 823-8796

Monday 8:30 - 5:00
Tuesday 8:30 - 6:30
Wednesday 8:30 - 5:00
Thursday 8:30 - 5:00
Friday 8:30 - 4:30

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The information contained herein is intended to be educational and is not intended in any way as a substitute for medical advice and care from qualified vision care providers. Consult a vision care professional in matters relating to visual health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
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