FAQs

Q: How do people get AMD? Are there risk factors that cause it?

While a lack of nutrients reaching the macula can contribute to AMD, the exact cause is unknown. The primary risk factor is age, but other risk factors such as family history, poor diet, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension), light skin or eye color, and exposure to UV light make some people more likely to develop AMD.

Q: How could AMD affect my daily life?

AMD can affect your ability to see at a distance and complete detailed work. Faces may become blurry, and colors may become less distinguishable. Distortion may cause edges or lines to appear wavy. The end result can be a loss of central vision, which patients often perceive as a dark or empty area in their straight-ahead vision. This can affect your ability to perform everyday activities like driving, reading, watching TV, or even playing cards.

Q: Is AMD hereditary?

Studies indicate that first-generation family members are three times more likely to develop AMD. Early diagnosis is the key. So, if you are over 40, and are the child or the sibling of someone living with AMD, it’s crucial that you get regularly scheduled eye examinations. You may also want to consider taking an eye vitamin. They provide essential nutrients that help promote eye health.

Q: Are there different types of AMD? How quickly can AMD progress?

AMD is classified as either wet (choroidal neovascular) AMD or dry (non-neovascular) AMD. Most people with AMD have dry AMD, which progresses very slowly. Advanced AMD, whether wet or dry can cause loss of central vision. However people with AMD whether wet or dry will generally maintain their peripheral, or side, vision - even into the latest stages of the disease. In some cases, dry AMD can convert to wet AMD which can progress rapidly. For more information on the different types of AMD, refer to the About AMD section of this website. 

Q: I already take a multivitamin. Should I also take an AREDS formula eye vitamin?

Yes. If you have moderate to advanced AMD, your doctor may recommend an AREDS formula eye vitamin. The levels of antioxidants and zinc shown to be beneficial for people at high risk of progression of AMD are not found in typical daily multivitamins.* However, you can continue to take your regular daily multivitamin for overall health. Most people in the AREDS and AREDS2 studies also took a standard multivitamin. Consult your physician or eye care professional to see if AREDS formula vitamins are right for you or if you have additional questions.

Q: Is it true that I can't take beta-carotene if I smoke?

Intake of high levels of beta-carotene in smokers is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. If you are a current or former smoker, with AMD your doctor may prescribe an AREDS formula product where beta carotene is replaced by lutein/zeaxanthin such as PreserVision AREDS 2.

If you are a current or former smoker with moderate to advanced AMD, consider taking an eye vitamin that replaces beta-carotene with lutein and zeaxanthin such as PreserVision AREDS 2.

Q: Does AMD cause blindness?

Advanced AMD can cause loss of central vision. However people with AMD will generally maintain their peripheral, or side, vision - even into the late stages of the disease.

Q: Are there any AMD support groups in my area?

You can find a local group in your area by contacting one of the AMD organizations listed on the Helpful Resources page of this website. Your eye care professional may also be able to suggest local support groups.

The content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye care professional or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your eye health.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.