Macular Degeneration

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General Information

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that affects central vision. It is caused by the deterioration of the macula, the central part of the retina that is essential for sharp, central vision. It is here that visual information is collected and then sent on to the brain for processing. Macular degeneration affects 1.8 million Americans, and is expected to increase to 2.9 million cases by 2020. 

Symptoms of macular degeneration include: 

  • Painless loss of central vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing fine details clearly
  • Straight lines may appear bent

Risk Factors for macular degeneration can include: 

  • Caucasian race
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Aging
  • Family history
  • Female gender
  • Obesity
  • Chronic kidney disease

How is macular degeneration diagnosed?

Macular degeneration is diagnosed by a complete eye examination by an ophthalmologist. Testing could include:

  • Visual acuity testing
  • Retinal examination

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How can low vision rehabilitation help?

While central vision can be greatly affected by macular degeneration, good peripheral vision almost always remains. Low vision professionals are a part of your plan of care if you are losing your vision due to macular degeneration. Your doctor’s early referral for low vision rehabilitation can help minimize the negative impact of vision loss on daily life. This process begins with a low vision exam to determine the nature of your vision impairment. When the assessment is complete, the doctor will suggest a plan of care that may include use of optical devices, adaptive aids and an individualized low vision rehabilitation plan to help make the most of your existing vision.  
For more information on macular degeneration, visit:

If you and your doctor determine that your quality of life could benefit from rehabilitation, ask him or her to refer you to the Envision Rehabilitation Clinic, or call us to set up an appointment at 316-440-1600

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