Macular Degeneration can develop at any age, but it is also a common part of the aging process, where it is referred to as "age-related macular degeneration," or AMD.  It occurs as your macula deteriorates.  The macula is near the centre of the retina (the tissue at the back of the eye that is sensitive to light) and is what allows us to distinguish color and make out fine detail.

As the macula degenerates, a small spot or blurriness appears in the middle of the field of vision, which makes it difficult to see clearly. Over time, this obstruction may increase in size, effectively blocking the view of objects directly in front of the person. While the peripheral vision (the vision off to the side) usually remains intact, some activities that may have been once taken for granted, such as reading, hobbies, sports, or even recognizing the face of a loved one, may no longer be possible.

There is no cure for AMD but early detection plays a key role in the success of treatment – so be sure to have regular eye examinations with your eye care professional. While certain vitamin combinations, such as those containing beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, leutine, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids, are known to delay the progression of Dry AMD, they cannot stop it completely nor reverse any damage already done.

While vision loss can lead to feelings of isolation, keep in mind that macular degeneration is a common condition and plenty of help and support is available.