Commonly used AMD terms
Advanced macular degeneration—The loss of central vision in one or both eyes resulting from damage to the macula, a small area near the center of the retina.
Amsler grid—A grid of straight lines resembling graph paper. A dot is printed in the center of the grid. An Amsler grid is used to test for the onset of, and progression of, macular degeneration.
Antioxidants—Substances, such as vitamin E and C, that reduce free radical damage thus helping to protect cells, including those found in the eye.*
AREDS—The Age-Related Eye Disease Study was a landmark clinical study completed by the National Eye Institute (NEI) in 2001 proved that taking a high-potency antioxidant and zinc supplement reduced the risk of progression in people with moderate-to-advanced Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).* AREDS is also the name used to describe vitamins that contain this antioxidant and zinc formula.
AREDS2—The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 was the second landmark clinical study completed by the National Eye Institute (NEI) in 2013 that built upon the results from the original 2001 AREDS study. Based on the results of AREDS2, the NEI recommended an update to the original AREDS antioxidant and zinc formula.
Beta-carotene—A member of the carotenoid family of vitamins found in vegetables, such as carrots. Beta-carotene may be beneficial to eye health.
Central vision—That part of your vision that allows you to see objects that are straight ahead.
Drusen—Yellow spots, or deposits, that form beneath the retina; the presence of medium-to-large drusen may be a sign of AMD.
Dry AMD—Also known as atrophic macular degeneration, dry AMD is caused by aging and thinning of eye tissues and is characterized by the presence of yellow spots, known as “drusen,” in the macula. With dry AMD, vision gets worse over time.
Lutein—A carotenoid that is found in the lens and retina, primarily in the macula. This important antioxidant acts as a blue-light filter.
Macula—That part of the retina that is responsible for central vision and seeing fine detail.
Moderate-to-advanced age-related macular degeneration—Stages of AMD that may include the presence of large drusen, pigment changes in the retina, and/or vision loss resulting from damage to the macula.
National Eye Institute (NEI)—One of the government’s National Institutes of Health, the NEI conducts research on treating and preventing diseases that affect the eye or vision.
Ophthalmologist—A physician medically trained in eye and vision care who can diagnose and treat complicated eye issues, perform surgeries such as Lasik and repair damage in the retina, and offer complete eye care services.
Optometrist—A healthcare professional who provides primary vision care, which includes diagnosing vision problems, prescribing glasses and medications, and testing for eye diseases and conditions.
Retina—The layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and receives the image formed by the lens.
Retina specialist—An ophthalmologist specializing in diseases of the retina.
Supplements—Vitamin and mineral products that increase the levels of certain beneficial substances in your diet.
Vitamin C—An antioxidant found in citrus or colorful fruits and vegetables that is vital to helping protect cells (including those in the eyes) from free radicals and oxidative damage.*
Vitamin E—An antioxidant found in oils, nuts, and other foods that may help support cells of the eyes.
Wet AMD—Also known as exudative macular degeneration, wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels form and leak blood and fluid beneath the retina, causing it to distort or scar. Wet AMD progresses far more rapidly than dry AMD, and has more severe effects.
Zeaxanthin—A carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables. Zeaxanthin concentrates in the macula, where it helps protect against blue light and oxidative damage.
Zinc—A trace element that influences cell metabolism through a variety of mechanisms and plays an integral role in maintaining normal ocular function.