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What causes dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

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The condition is linked with bits of fat and protein, collectively known as drusen. This secretion can collect under your retina -- a layer of tissue at the back of your eye that processes light. No one knows where the drusen come from, but they are thought to be pieces of waste from the retina.

If you're over the age of 50, you probably have some hard drusen in your eyes. These are normal and harmless, especially if they aren't in your macula -- the small area at the center of your retina, but soft, large, and centrally located macular drusen are not. They are the ones that are linked with losing your vision.

Drusen in early AMD are quite small. They get larger as the condition moves from early to intermediate to advanced. In advanced-stage AMD, drusen are larger and more numerous. They keep oxygen from reaching your eye.

SOURCES:

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Macular Degeneration."

American Macular Degeneration Foundation: "What Is Macular Degeneration?"

Bright Focus Foundation: "Prevention & Risk Factors."

Foundation Fighting Blindness: "What Is Macular Degeneration?"

National institutes of Health Senior Health: "Age-Related Macular Degeneration."

National Health Service UK: "Macular Degeneration - Causes"

UptoDate: "Age-related macular degeneration: Clinical presentation, etiology, and diagnosis," "Cataract in adults."

National Eye Institute: "Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration," "Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)."

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "Who is at Risk for Macular Degeneration?"

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on August 31, 2020

SOURCES:

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Macular Degeneration."

American Macular Degeneration Foundation: "What Is Macular Degeneration?"

Bright Focus Foundation: "Prevention & Risk Factors."

Foundation Fighting Blindness: "What Is Macular Degeneration?"

National institutes of Health Senior Health: "Age-Related Macular Degeneration."

National Health Service UK: "Macular Degeneration - Causes"

UptoDate: "Age-related macular degeneration: Clinical presentation, etiology, and diagnosis," "Cataract in adults."

National Eye Institute: "Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration," "Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)."

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "Who is at Risk for Macular Degeneration?"

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on August 31, 2020

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What can happen if you have dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

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