What is AMD?
AMD is the number one cause of vision loss for people over the age of 55. It is a common retinal disease that blurs the central vision necessary for everyday tasks such as reading, writing, and driving. AMD occurs when there is a loss of visual cells in the macula and the central part of the retina, that allow you to see fine details.
How common is AMD?
The rate of AMD in our population has increased as life expectancy increases. AMD affects 18 million people, and 1 in 10 over the age of 65 years. Our senior population is projected to double by 2030, and with few treatment options and no known cure, the percentage of those suffering from AMD is expected to dramatically increase.
Can AMD be treated?
Early detection of AMD is important for slowing the progression of the disease. Effective treatment is available for five percent of individuals with late-stage wet AMD. This treatment consists of therapeutic drug injections in the eye that can slow vision loss in some patients. Monitoring progression of the disease with a primary care physician is important. Scientists are currently working to find treatment options for dry AMD. At this time none exist.
How is the Retina Foundation researching AMD?
AMD is a highly complex and individualized disease. A diagnosis cannot be made unless there is visible damage to the structure of the eye. Diagnosis of the disease is measured through visual acuity testing. At this time there are no predictors of disease progression. Research continues to develop solutions to measure predictors, manage disease progression, and treatments. Research at the Retina Foundation is supported by both public and private sector funds. Financial support is provided in the form of research grants and private donations. We count on the National Institute of Health, National Eye Institute, Food and Drug Administration, Genentech, Allergan, and the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation as some of our many valued giving partners.
The Clinical Center of Innovation for Age-Related Macular Degeneration was supported by an initial $2.5 million dollar grant from the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at the Communities Foundation of Texas, and an Anonymous $1 million dollar gift. The Clinical Center uses a patient centered approach that involves a referral to the Clinical Center from an eye doctor. Our researchers then communicate the patient’s results from their in-depth vision evaluation back to the referring eye doctor. The eye doctor will follow-up with the patient to implement a future treatment plan based on the results. The Clinical Center is focused on exploring and developing individualized treatment for patients who are in different stages of AMD.
Read about our research initiatives for age-related macular degeneration.
Our researchers are working diligently to find treatments. Funding for this research is a crucial part of discovering treatments.
Our researchers are working to develop a drug delivery device for patients with AMD. It is a small Polymer device that slowly releases therapeutic drugs as needed over a period of weeks, months or years as prescribed by your physician.
Age-related macular degeneration can be detected in a routine eye exam. One of the most common early signs of macular degeneration is the presence of drusen — tiny yellow deposits under the retina — or pigment clumping. Research is looking at the role drusen degeneration plays in AMD.
Read the stories about our advances in research and learn about the successes of the people who are impacted by the sight-saving research at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest.View All
October 2, 2018 Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common disease associated with aging that gradually impairs sharp, central vision that is necessary for everyday tasks such as reading, writing, and driving. There are two common forms of AMD: dry …
September 24, 2018 There is a great need for more information on the progression of vision loss caused by inherited eye diseases and age-related macular degeneration. The Retina Foundation of the Southwest is beginning a new project aimed at developing …