Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that destroys the sharp, central vision that helps people see objects clearly and perform tasks such as reading and driving. It is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans age 60 and older. Patients do not feel pain, yet AMD kills cells in the macula, the part of the retina that allows people to see detail. Risk factors include family history and smoking. High blood pressure and obesity also can contribute. Females, as well as those with light skin or light eye color, are more likely to develop the condition. About 15% of AMD patients experience new blood vessels growing behind the retina, and this condition can be treated. Some diseases affecting the macula are inherited and are called macular degeneration. Symptoms for these conditions may begin in childhood or early adulthood.    

Why UAB

At UAB Medicine, our physicians are on the forefront of progressive treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). They collaborate with vision scientists to develop advanced technologies and groundbreaking treatments to improve your eye health. In fact, Callahan Eye Hospital pioneered surgical instrumentation, devices, and procedures that are now used by ophthalmologists all over the world. We don’t just treat eye disease – we help our patients learn to adapt to changes in their vision by providing comprehensive care and rehabilitation services.

Through the Alabama Study on Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ALSTAR), UAB researchers are seeking to identify the specific characteristics that make some more prone to AMD. More than 600 older Alabamians have been enrolled in the three-year clinical study, which tracks eye health and potential AMD risk factors such as diet, smoking, and levels of blood proteins and lipids.

UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, Alabama’s only eye hospital, is one of the busiest Ocular Emergency Departments and one of just two Level 1 Ocular Trauma Centers in the United States. More than 10,000 surgeries are performed annually in Callahan’s nine operating rooms. The hospital has won numerous awards for both patient and employee satisfaction, so you know you will be accorded a consistently high level of care.

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Clinical Trials

UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials