What is the Macula?

What you should know during AMD Awareness Month

The macula is made up of millions of light-sensitive cells that provide sharp detailed central vision. It is the most sensitive part of the retina, which is located at the back of the eye.

The retina quickly turns light into electrical signals and then sends these electrical signals to the brain through the optic nerve. Next, the brain translates the electrical signals into images we see. If the macula is damaged, fine points in these images are not clear. The picture is there, but the fine points are lost. Remember, anyone over age 50 is at risk for AMD.

Increased risks include: family history, race (Caucasians are at much higher risk than people of African descent), and smoking (research shows that smoking increases risk twofold).

For more information on AMD, contact:
POB at 202-234-1010, or visit the National Eye Institute (NEI) website at www.nei.nih.gov.

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