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What causes age-related macular degeneration?

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The word "macula" comes from the Latin word meaning "spot." The macula is a very small portion of the retina that is responsible for your central vision. It is about the size of a pencil eraser. The macula is loaded with photoreceptors that enable you to read, watch television, drive, sew -- anything that requires focused, precise vision.

Outside of the central macula, the retina has fewer photoreceptors, so image resolution is less detailed. Although this part of the retina continues to process images in the majority of your field of vision, the tissue damage caused by age-related macular degeneration distorts or obscures part of the crisp central image that your eye transmits to your brain.

SOURCES: 

James B. , Blackwell Publishing, 2003.  Lecture Notes on Ophthalmology

Macular Degeneration Partnership. 

Pfizer: ''Macugen Description.'' 

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "Preferred Practice Pattern, Age Related Macular Degeneration."

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on March 14, 2017

SOURCES: 

James B. , Blackwell Publishing, 2003.  Lecture Notes on Ophthalmology

Macular Degeneration Partnership. 

Pfizer: ''Macugen Description.'' 

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "Preferred Practice Pattern, Age Related Macular Degeneration."

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on March 14, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

Are the dry and wet forms of age-related macular degeneration related?

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