This disease is an acquired retinal disorder with far-reaching implications. It is the leading cause of legal blindness (visual acuity of 20/200 or worse) for persons over the age of 65. It is the leading cause of severe vision loss in persons over the age of 50 and it is second only to diabetes as the leading cause of blindness in the 45 to 64 year old age group. "Significant vision loss" refers to a loss of visual function interfering with daily activities or lifestyle.
AMD is not curable, although certain forms of the disease may respond to laser treatment and/or medical treatment preventing severe vision loss, especially with early diagnosis and intervention.
Numerous risk factors implicated in AMD include: age, over age 65yrs, gender studies show that females have a higher incidence of AMD; race incidence is higher in Caucasians than Africans and Asians; ocular factors involving hyperopia, and light ocular pigmentation; persons with HTN or cardiovascular disease, cigarette smokers and persons with first-degree family (sibling or maternal) history of vision loss from AMD regardless of age.