Macular Degeneration Animation

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the macula.




Macular Degeneration cross-section imageAbout macular degeneration.

The macula is the part of the eye that allows us to see fine detail. When the macula is damaged, the central vision may become blurry, distorted or dark.

The macula is located on the retina, the light-sensitive, back, inner lining of the inside of the eye. A healthy macula gives us the sharp, central vision we need for “straight-ahead” activities such as driving or reading.

Macular Degeneration is the result of gradual deterioration of the tissues in the macula. When the macula is damaged, the central vision may become blurry, distorted or dark.



AMD is typically classified into two general types: Dry and Wet. More than 8 out of 10 cases of macular degeneration fall into the “Dry” classification.

Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down over time. Debris from the pigment layer and surrounding tissues accumulates and forms deposits called drusen. The presence of drusen is the first sign of early, DRY AMD. Early symptoms can range from undetectable, to blurring and distortion of the central vision. In the advanced stages of this painless disease, complete central vision loss can occur.

Wet AMD, is more serious than Dry. This form of macular degeneration occurs when the accumulating drusen cause inflammation. The inflamed cells release growth factors which cause abnormal blood vessels to form under the retina. These fragile vessels leak fluid and blood into the layers of the macula, which is where the term “wet” macular degeneration came from. Wet AMD can lead to rapid decrease in vision and if left untreated, can cause permanent vision loss.

There are several options available to retinal specialists for the treatment of wet AMD. Currently, there are no FDA approved treatments for dry macular degeneration. However, most eye doctors will offer a proactive plan with numerous preventative measures, including lifestyle adjustments and nutritional recommendations, all aimed at slowing the progression of this vision-robbing eye disease.

How vision works | an animated guide to the human eye functions

The Eye and Vision – How vision works




How vision works in the human eye | an animationThe eye is a complex optical system – very similar to a camera.

Vision begins when light enters the eye through the cornea, a powerful focusing surface. The cornea is what gives us clear vision. From there, it travels through clear aqueous fluid, and passes through a small aperture in the iris called the pupil.

As muscles in the iris relax or constrict, the pupil changes size to adjust the amount of light entering the eye. Light rays are bent and focused through the lens, and proceed through a clear jelly-like substance in the center of the eye called vitreous humor, which helps give the eye form and shape. When light rays finally land on the retina, the part of the eye similar to film in a camera, they form an upside-down image. The retina converts the image into an electrical impulse that travels along the optic nerve to the brain, where it is interpreted as an upright image.



This animation above depicts the light rays’ path through the eyeball as they pass through the cornea, the eye’s lens and vitreous and striking the surface of the retina, the back inner “wallpaper” in the globe of the eyeball.

All of these structures of the eye mentioned here are critically important in the process of visual acuity. Any disease or condition that affects any of these eye components can cause vision decrease or loss, or even blindness.

Legal blindness is a very depressing and costly problem in the United States and the rest of the world. Low vision can lead to depression and decrease the ambulatory abilities of its victims. It is important to treat these secondary complications as well as the eye disease or conditions. Eye disease illustrations can be seen here.