4 Important Facts Everyone Should Know about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is a serious vision condition that primarily affects people as they age and can lead to blindness. AMD’s causes are still little understood, although lifestyle and genetics appear to have roles in its development. The condition draws its name from the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of eye that provides sharp central vision. Those with AMD may lose their central vision while maintaining peripheral sight. In her practice with Park Ophthalmology in Raleigh and Durham,  Dr. Beth R. Friedland diagnoses and treats many patients with AMD. She ensures that the disease is diagnosed in its early stages and keeps current on the newest research and treatments for her Triangle area patients.

Four critical details to understand about age-related macular degeneration:

  • Causes and symptoms: AMD is caused when the macula begins to deteriorate and bits of a fatty protein called drusen build up behind the retina. Symptoms of AMD include hazy vision, a blank or blurry spot in central vision and trouble seeing in low light conditions. In its early stages, a person with AMD may not notice any vision changes.
  • Genetics and aging: The National Eye Institute reports that AMD tends to run in families. It also is more common among Caucasians than among Hispanics/Latinos or African-Americans. Age is also a key risk factor, with each decade of life after 50 years increasing the risk of developing AMD.
  • Lifestyle matters: In addition to genetics and family history, some lifestyle choices can influence the development of AMD. Exposure to the sun’s ultra-violet rays without sunglasses, smoking and eating a diet loaded with fatty snack foods all increase the risk of AMD.
  • Treatments: Researchers are studying the effects of nutritional supplements for intermediate AMD. Other treatments include injections into the eye and laser surgery. One study is testing whether anti-AMD drugs can be delivered in eyedrops. Although there is no cure for AMD, treatment can delay its progress.

An annual comprehensive eye exam at Park Ophthalmology will alert patients to whether they are developing AMD. Dr. Friedland will examine each new and current patient for signs of AMD. Call the office of today to schedule an appointment.


Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!

This article about the vision care is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.


The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.


Park Ophthalmology

5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)

Durham, NC 27713

Office: 919 544 5375

Fax: 919 544 5829


Park Ophthalmology North

6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105

Raleigh, NC 27615

919 846 6915

Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: jenny.brfeyecare@ncrrbiz.com.

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