Macular-Degeneration_simAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) impacts millions of people and is the leading cause of blindness in adults 50 and older in the U.S. It occurs when the macula (a small spot near the center of the retina that lets you see color and fine detail) becomes damaged which often leads to a blurry, distorted and darkened spot in the center of the field of view. Over time, the blurred area may grow larger or blank spots in the central vision can develop. Objects also may not appear to be as bright as they used to. This type of central detail vision loss affects reading, driving, watching TV, sewing, seeing the faces of family and friends, and any other task that requires focusing on small objects. Although smoking, race and family history are contributing risk factors, age is the most significant risk. The disease is most likely to occur after age 50, but it can occur earlier. AMD is a chronic condition with a high genetic prevalence. There are two main types of age-related macular degeneration: dry and wet.

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