Eye Disease of Older People
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over 60 years of age. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. Because the disease develops as a person ages, it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although macular degeneration is almost never a totally blinding condition, it can be a source of significant visual disability.
Macular degeneration is a group of eye diseases that affects central vision. It is the leading cause of severe vision loss among people age 60 and older, especially among Caucasians. The disease tends to occur more often in women than in men. Although AMD can occur in middle age, the people age 60 and older are at greatest risk for developing AMD.
Some forms of macular degeneration can occur in children. One is juvenile macular degeneration, or Stargardt’s disease, which affects one in 10,000 children. It usually appears between the ages of six and 20 and is inherited.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration at 60 is an eye disorder that slowly destroys sharp, central vision. This makes it difficult to see fine details and read. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a gradual, progressive, painless deterioration of the macula, the small area in the center of the retina.