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Age-related macular degeneration

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Last updated:22nd Jan 2018
Status: Live
Age-related macular degeneration

This guideline covers diagnosing and managing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in adults. It aims to improve the speed at which people are diagnosed and treated to prevent loss of sight.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the term given to ageing changes without any other obvious cause that occurs in the central area of the retina (macula), sometimes with new blood vessel formation (wet AMD). It is the most common form of macular degeneration.

AMD is a painless condition that generally leads to the gradual impairment of vision, but it can sometimes cause a rapid reduction in vision. It predominantly affects the central vision, which is used for reading and recognising faces. Normal macular ageing changes are a common incidental finding on a routine visit to the optometrist, but AMD may also be detected this way before it is symptomatic, or people may present with difficulty in performing daily activities such as driving, reading and recognising faces.

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