Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in North America. This article reviews the clinical spectrum, risk factors, pathophysiology, and potential therapeutic options for this disease. Despite significant advances in the treatment of certain forms of AMD, there is currently no cure for this degenerative condition. The substantial personal, social, and economic burden of AMD requires that those who provide care to older adults have a general understanding of this cause of blindness. It is important for the ophthalmologist and primary care physician to address modifiable risk factors for the progression of AMD such as poor cardiovascular status and smoking, which may worsen visual loss. In addition, educating patients and their families regarding risk factors and potential treatment options may greatly benefit those affected by AMD.
Key words: blindness, geriatric, age-related macular degeneration, choroidal neovascularization, ranibizumab, bevacizumab.