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Macular degeneration is the degeneration of the macula retinae, also called the macula lutea, an oval disc on the retina in the back of the eye.
Degeneration of the macula retinae is the leading cause of blindness in elderly Americans.1
Macular degeneration is typically painless and includes symptoms of dark or blurry areas in the center of vision, seeing distortions of straight lines, and difficulty doing activities that require sharp vision (e.g., driving and reading). Peripheral (side) vision may remain clear.
Smoking has been linked to macular degeneration. Quitting smoking may reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2017.