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Symptoms and Causes

What happens if you have AMD?

AMD is particularly frustrating because (if untreated or untreatable) it results in a loss of central vision. In other words, someone with AMD can see everything except what he/she is directly looking at, and is therefore unable to read, watch TV, recognise faces or drive. Visually consequential AMD dramatically reduces an individual’s quality of life.

What causes AMD?

Although the exact cause of AMD remains uncertain, it is known that damage by free radicals within the eye plays a role.  Free radicals are unstable molecules, and are produced when we use oxygen, and when light enters the eye.  Because we use oxygen when we breathe, and because we need light to see, damage caused by free radicals is unavoidable.

What are the symptoms of AMD?

The main symptom of visually consequential AMD (AMD which affects vision) is dim or fuzzy central vision, which can affect the ability to carry out fine detail visual tasks such as reading.  With this disease, objects may appear distorted or smaller than they really are. Faces will become more difficult to recognise. As the disease progresses, central vision is totally lost.  However, good peripheral (side) vision is retained. At all stages of the disease, problems may be experienced with sensitivity to glare and inability to discriminate low contrast levels.