Blurry Vision or Blind Spots

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss in people age 50 and over. This chronic eye disease affects tissue in the macula, the part of your retina responsible for central vision that helps you see objects clearly and observe fine detail. Central vision is used for tasks like reading, driving and recognizing colors or faces.

AMD occurs when the central portion of your retina deteriorates and is unable to accurately transmit images. It is not known why some people develop the condition and others do not. Your risk of macular degeneration increases with age.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Many people do not experience any signs of AMD during the early stages of the disease. Symptoms may start slowly and worsen over time and may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Distorted straight lines
  • Blurred print when reading
  • A fuzzy spot in your central field of vision

Penn State Health uses a variety of diagnostic techniques to determine if you have AMD, including:

  • A dilated eye examination to view your retina
  • Optical coherence tomography, a noninvasive test that takes pictures of your retina
  • Fluorescein angiography, which uses a special dye injected into your bloodstream to highlight the blood vessels in the back of your eye

There is no cure for AMD, but early intervention and treatment can help slow the progression of the disease. If left unchecked, severe AMD may result in legal blindness.

Experts in Care

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Specialized Care from Highly Trained Experts

Vision care at the Penn State Health Eye Center features a team of specialists with the highest level of expertise, specialized training and certification in treating patients with AMD. We offer the latest diagnostic technology and the most advanced therapeutic approaches to reduce the potentially devastating effects of AMD.

Clinical Research for Advanced Treatment Options

Penn State Health includes Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania. In partnership with colleagues at Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research and is on the leading edge of clinical studies and clinical trials that may lead to new treatments for AMD.

We are currently participating in a clinical trial to assess the safety and effectiveness of an investigational anti-VEGF study drug or Lucentis in people age 50 and older (IRB# 2994). Get more details on how to take part in a research study at Penn State Health.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

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Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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