Paul Epstein, MD, Deputy Editor
Acknowledgments: The author thanks Stuart Fine, MD; Daniel Martin, MD; and Maureen Maguire, PhD, for ophthalmologic advice and review of the manuscript.
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
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Epstein P.; Trials That Matter: Two Faces of Progress in the Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146:532-534. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-146-7-200704030-00011
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2007;146(7):532-534.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common ocular condition that may destroy central vision and have a devastating effect on the quality of life of people over the age of 55. Since the population of the United States is now living longer, more people are at risk for developing the disease as the population ages. By age 70, nearly 1 of 3 people shows signs of at least mild AMD on ophthalmologic examination.
The earliest recognizable manifestation of AMD is the presence of drusen—white deposits that can be observed in the macula during an ophthalmoscopic examination. Patients with drusen are classified as having early (dry) AMD. These patients may have no visual symptoms or may require additional light to read small print. Most patients with dry AMD will never develop severe vision loss or progress to late (wet) AMD.
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