cosmetic procedures
comprehensive eye care

Age-Related Macular Degeneration – Are you at Risk?

Age-related macular degeneration, often shortened to simply macular degeneration or AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. Unfortunately, doctors worry that macular degeneration will become even more prevalent over the next few decades.

“As the ‘baby boom’ generation ages, and in the absence of further prevention and treatment advances, the prevalence of AMD is estimated to reach epidemic proportions of 6.3 million Americans by the year 2030,” said Dr. Carl Kupfer, former Director of the National Eye Institute at the National Institute of Health.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is a common eye disorder characterized by deterioration of the macula, a region within the retina responsible for processing sharp, central vision.

The disorder is typically divided into three stages.

  • Early stage macular degeneration typically has no noticeable symptoms – however, signs of retinal deterioration known as drusen would be visible during a comprehensive, dilated eye exam.
  • Intermediate stage macular degeneration is more likely to result in vision loss, but many people still experience no symptoms. A comprehensive eye exam would reveal larger drusen and microscopic changes in retinal pigment.
  • Late stage macular degeneration is characterized by vision loss, particularly in the center of the visual field. People with late stage macular degeneration may be considered legally blind depending on the severity of their symptoms.

Macular degeneration is also divided into two subtypes: wet (exudative) and dry (atrophic). The vast majority of people with macular degeneration are diagnosed with the dry type, whereas 10 to 15 percent are diagnosed with the wet type. Wet macular degeneration has a faster, more severe onset.

What causes macular degeneration?

Researchers don’t know all of the factors that lead to macular degeneration, although some have been uncovered.

  • People who smoke are at a particular risk of developing macular degeneration. In fact, smoking doubles the risk of the disorder.
  • According to the National Eye Institute, macular degeneration is more common in older white individuals than people of other races.
  • Individuals with a family history of macular degeneration are at an increased risk of developing the disorder themselves.

If you meet these criteria and are older than 50 years old, it is imperative that you receive regular vision checkups. Individuals who meet none of these criteria should receive checkups as well, since they can still develop the disorder.

How do you treat macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration cannot be cured. However, it can be managed through medications, lifestyle changes and certain surgical procedures. The earlier macular degeneration is diagnosed, the more likely you are to keep your vision.

Because macular degeneration has few or no symptoms in the early stages, regular checkups are essential! At South East Eye, we offer quality care as well as thorough, comprehensive eye exams. If you’re older than 50 or at risk for developing macular degeneration, contact us today to set up an eye and vision examination.

Are you a Cataract Surgery
Are you a LASIK
an Appointment
Learn More About
Financing Options

Our Locations


3215 Shrine Road, Suit 6
Brunswick, GA 31520

douglas OFFICE

306 Radcliffe Avenue
Douglas, GA 31533

waycross OFFICE

 2507 Alice Street
Waycross, GA 31501

hinesville OFFICE

556 Oglethorpe Highway
Hinesville, GA 31313

jesup OFFICE

125 W Cherry Street
Jesup, GA 31545

swainsboro OFFICE

125 A Victory Drive
Swainsboro, GA 30401

vidalia OFFICE

206 Maple Drive
Vidalia, GA 30474

st. Mary's OFFICE

775 C. Kings Bay Rd
St. Marys, GA 31558

fernandina beach OFFICE

6 S 14th St
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Baxley office

18 Luckie St
Baxley, FL 31513

Callahan, FL

18 Luckie St
Baxley, FL 31513

Contact us

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form