Macular degeneration also called age-related macular degeneration (ARMD or AMD), is an age-related condition in which the most sensitive part of the retina, the macula, begins to break down and lose its ability to create clear visual images. The macula is responsible for our central vision. The part of our sight we use to read, drive, and recognize faces.
ARMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans of ages 65 and older. Since older people represent an increasingly larger percentage of the general population, vision loss associated with macular degeneration is a growing concern.
It is estimated that more than 1.75 million U.S. residents currently have significant vision loss from ARMD, and the number is expected to grow to almost 3 million by 2020.