Donate to Macular Degeneration Research, Patient Care and Education

The ability to read the newspaper, street signs and website content is often taken for granted. As people approach their 60s, symptoms of macular degeneration can begin to appear. As many as 11 million people in the United States suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and this number is expected to double by 2050. The macula is located in the center of the retina. Degeneration of the macula has severe effects on central vision, making it challenging to read, drive and even recognize loved ones. Fortunately, peripheral vision usually remains intact.

With the support of generous donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, physicians and scientists at Northwestern Medicine are developing and utilizing leading-edge technologies to diagnose and treat macular degeneration. Your contribution will help to advance important research studies and clinical trials that have the potential to further enhance the treatment of macular degeneration.

The two leading types of macular degeneration are referred to as dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD, the most common form, generally emerges in one eye at a time. It occurs as a result of the slow degeneration of light-sensitive cells in the macula. Wet AMD, the less common form of macular degeneration, occurs when leaking fluid and blood emit from new blood vessels beneath the retina. Unfortunately, wet AMD can result in a rapid decline in vision and is more apt to cause total vision loss.

Highly skilled ophthalmologists at Northwestern Medicine have identified the most common symptoms of AMD. They include blurring of vision, central vision deterioration and loss of the ability to recognize familiar faces, as well as tiny yellow spots on the retina. Through extensive testing and front-line research and clinical trials, specialists at Northwestern Medicine have determined that major risk factors for AMD include gender (women are more at risk than men), age, smoking and family history, as well as hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol. Patients at Northwestern Medicine benefit from state-of-the-art methods of diagnosing AMD. These approaches include visual acuity tests, Amsler grid evaluation and fluorescein angiography, as well as pupil dilation.

Macular Degeneration Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Current treatments for wet AMD include injections, laser surgery and low-vision treatments. Unfortunately, there is not yet a treatment for dry AMD. Increased research and testing are critical to developing state-of-the-art treatments for dry AMD. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will support these essential studies and will help Northwestern Medicine’s scientists and physicians to make strides toward creating and providing more effective treatments to patients with both wet and dry AMD.

Donate Now