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Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD or AMD) is a major cause of vision loss in people over 50, although it can show up in younger people. It causes deterioration to the cells in the macula which is a small spot near the center of the retina which is needed for sharp central vision.
In the early stages of ARMD, vision loss can go unnoticed. As it progresses, vision becomes blurry or foggy, straight lines look crooked, and there may be an inability to see faces clearly. Peripheral vision is not affected.
There are 2 types of ARMD. Ninety percent of the people with ARMD have the dry type. This type has small yellow spots, called drusen, which form under the macula and slowly damage the cells of the macula.
The wet type of ARMD occurs when delicate, abnormal blood vessels grow behind the retina. These fragile blood vessels break and start leaking blood and fluid causing severe tissue damage and rapid and severe loss of vision.
The Vision Improvement Program will increase visual acuity, increase the health of the eyes and slow/stop the progression of degeneration for both the dry and the wet types.