Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Age-Related Vision Problems

Age-related vision changes happen to many people as they grow older. But eye problems aren't something you should simply write off as normal.

Some problems stem from new or worsening vision disorders. As you get older, these might happen gradually. Others happen suddenly, quickly causing blindness. That is why regular exams with an eye doctor are so important.

Recommended Related to Eye Health

Understanding Vision Problems -- the Basics

The eyes are your body's most highly developed sensory organs. In fact, a far larger part of the brain is dedicated to vision than to hearing, taste, touch, or smell combined! We tend to take eyesight for granted; yet when vision problems develop, most of us will do everything in our power to restore our eyesight back to normal. The most common forms of vision impairment are errors of refraction -- the way light rays are focused inside the eye so images can be transmitted to the brain. Nearsightedness,...

Read the Understanding Vision Problems -- the Basics article > >

You can take steps to lower your risk of age-related vision problems. Or, if you have changes, you can slow their progression.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

With AMD, the macula, or central part of the tissue that lines the back of the eye (the retina), becomes damaged. This makes tasks involving central vision -- reading fine print, for example -- much harder. But you do maintain side vision.

The dry type of AMD affects 9 out of 10 people with macular degeneration. It causes more gradual, subtle vision loss from the breakdown of cells in the retina. For example, you may see parts of letters, or straight lines may appear wavy. The dry type of AMD can develop into the wet type.

Other symptoms include:

  • Hazy vision
  • Needing extra light or having trouble when going from bright to low light
  • Trouble reading or recognizing people's faces
  • Colors appearing less vivid

The wet type of AMD causes sudden, severe loss of central vision from leaking blood vessels growing in or under the retina. You may see a large dark spot in the center of your vision. If you have these blind spots, see an eye doctor right away.

Other symptoms include:

  • Distorted vision
  • Objects appearing a different size for each eye
  • Colors appearing less vivid or differently in each eye

You may be more likely to get AMD if you smoke, have a family history of AMD, or are obese.

Other risk factors include genetics, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, and a lack of nutrients reaching the retina.

There is no cure for AMD, but there are options that may slow the progression of wet macular degeneration.

  • Anti-VEGF treatment limits growth of new blood vessels in the eye that can threaten vision.
  • Thermal laser treatment uses heat to disrupt the disease.
  • Photodynamic therapy destroys blood vessels in the eye that are leaking and damaging vision.

Your doctor may recommend you take certain vitamins and minerals -- including zinc, vitamins C and E, and lutein and zeaxanthin -- in specific doses to slow down AMD when it’s still in its early stages.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
eye
Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
 
red eyes
Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
blue eye with contact lens
Tips for wearing and caring.
 
Understanding Stye
Article
human eye
Article
 
eye
Video
eye exam timing
Video
 
vision test
Tool
is vision correction surgery for you
Article
 
high tech contacts
Article
eye drop
Article