As the eye looks straight ahead, the macula is the point of the retina upon which the light rays meet as they are focused by the cornea and the lens of the eye. Similar to the film in a camera, the retina receives the images that come through the 'camera-like' lens. If the macula is damaged, the central part of the images are blocked as if a blurred area had been placed in the center of the picture. The images around the blurred area may be clearly visible.
Macular degeneration is damage or breakdown of the macula. The eye still sees objects to the side, since side, or 'peripheral', vision is usually not affected. For this reason, macular degeneration alone does not result in total blindness. However, it can make reading or close work difficult or impossible without the use of special low vision optical aids.
Although macular degeneration most often occurs in older people, aging alone does not always result in central visual loss. Nevertheless, macular degeneration is the leading cause of impairment of reading and fine 'close-up' vision in the United States.
A Web site sponsored by Iridex Corporation provides simple, basic information on the types of treatments currently available to those individuals afflicted with the "wet" form of age related macular degeneration.
The sites address www.treatmyamd.com
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