macular degeneration

Macular degeneration is premature aging of the retina.  The retina is located in the back of the eye and works like “the film in a camera,” detecting light and images. The macula is the central retina responsible for fine central vision. If the macular retina wears down this can cause serious problems.  For most people, this results in difficulty seeing fine details such as small type in books … though ARMD can cause serious vision loss when advanced.  Most people have dry macular degeneration where the vision slowly worsens with time. Treatment for dry degeneration is limited, and revolves around using eye vitamins and vision screening with an Amsler grid at home and OCT scans at our office.  Some people go on to develop wet macular degeneration where the retinal blood vessels leak fluid and this can lead to rapid vision loss.  Wet degeneration causes significant vision changes, but there are also more treatment options such as anti-VEGF injections and laser.  Wet degeneration can be detected with OCT scans and leaky areas further localized using fluorescein angiography.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


  1. After a comprehensive eye exam and an interval of 3 months, I was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration. Is it possible for this to occur so soon?

  2. Yes, it is possible to be diagnosed with macular degeneration in a short amount of time. Many of my patients have a certain amount of “pigmentation” in their macula. This pigmentation may be harmless or it may be a harbinger of more serious aging changes such as macular degeneration.

    Every eye doctor’s threshold for calling this pigmentation “macular degeneration” is a little different. Your macular appearance must have crossed your doctor’s personal threshold.


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