Living with Age-related Macular Degeneration

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What is my prognosis?

The prognosis varies and depends on each specific case. In general, the early stages evolve slowly and progressively. Patients can maintain an adequate level of vision for years. On the other hand, in some cases advanced dry AMD may affect your central vision.
Advanced wet AMD is very aggressive and should be treated as a matter of urgency, the prognosis is always better if it is detected and treated in initial stages. Otherwise, if it is not treated in time, it will produce scarring in the centre of the macula and in turn an irreversible loss of vision.

Can AMD be prevented?

Cigarette crossed out on a "no smoking" poster

Stop smoking. Smoking is the main modifiable risk factor.

Pill with prescription meds

Eat a Mediterranean diet to reduce the risk of progression to advanced forms. In this regard, vitamin supplements used as a complement to a normal diet have demonstrated a beneficial effect in terms of reducing this risk.

Blurred person, representing blurred vision

It is very important to monitor any changes in vision. If you notice distortion or a sudden loss of vision, then you should visit the ophthalmologist immediately in order to review your condition.

Living with visual impairment

Macular degeneration causes distortion or a lack of clarity in your central vision, but it does not lead to blindness because your peripheral or lateral vision remains intact. Reading, using the computer and cooking, for example, may prove a little more difficult, but there are solutions available for each problem.

Eye with a wide visual field

Humans have a wide visual field, in fact each eye has a range of 150° horizontally and 130° vertically. After suffering a loss of central vision, the area that enables us to see with greatest resolution, you can learn to adapt how you use the healthy peripheral area in order to optimise your overall vision. This is known as peripheral vision training.

Doctor performing an E-vision test

Therapists, supported by various different techniques, strategies and resources, provide personalised care to visually impaired patients so that they can go about their daily activities, actively participate in any environment (educational, occupational, cultural, leisure, etc.) and enjoy normal social integration.


Sunlight increases the chances of developing macular degeneration and also accelerates the disease's progression. The use of sunglasses, hats and visors is very important to protect your eyes when outdoors.

Cigarette crossed out on a "no smoking" poster

Smokers are advised to quit and you should follow a balanced diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables and fish which is also low in animal fats. If you do not follow a varied Mediterranean diet, then your doctor may prescribe vitamin supplements.

Well-adapted building or house

To prevent falls around the house it is important to adapt your home with good lighting, avoid glares and try to increase contrast.

Two men and one woman

It can prove difficult to accept that you have macular degeneration and you may need to make a lot of changes in your life. As a patient with AMD it is important that you are well informed about how to live with the condition and you feel supported, whether by your family, friends, support groups or associations.

Ten tips for the care of your eyes PDF - 827 KB
Ten tips for the care of your eyes PDF - 46 KB

Substantiated information by:

Javier Zarranz Ventura
Mª Socorro Alforja  Castiella
Ricardo P Casaroli Marano

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 21 September 2022

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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