Macular degeneration

Description of condition

On the retina, the macula – the point with the sharpest vision – is the area with the largest density of photoreceptor cells. In the case of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the function of photoreceptor cells is increasingly impaired, and they slowly die.

Fundamentally, a distinction is made between wet and dry macular degeneration.


AMD is a condition that usually occurs in old age. It is by far the most common cause of poor vision in the West. It generally occurs as a constitutional result of old age, but smoking and high blood pressure, for example, are also common risk factors.


As with glaucoma, the symptoms of macular degeneration are often detected late. The result is a slow decrease in visual acuity, reduced ability to read and distorted vision.


During the check-up, central visual acuity is measured. Examination with the Amsler grid is a very significant test. If the grid lines on the paper do not appear straight for the patient, but distorted, this is a clear indication of macular degeneration.

Illustration Amslertest: Wenn beim Blick auf die Gitterlinien Teile des Netzes verschwimmen oder sich verzzerren, sollte ein Augenarzt aufgesucht werden.


In the case of dry age-related macular degeneration, progression of the disease can be slowed by dietary supplements with high doses of vitamin C and E, beta carotene and zinc, along with lutein supplements. Wet macular degeneration is generally treated with special medication injected directly into the eye.

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