Macular degeneration, or AMD: is the most common cause of vision loss for people over the age of 60. It typically does not cause absolute blindness, but rather decreased contrast sensitivity, blur, and missing pieces in central vision. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula, located in the center of the retina, deteriorates or becomes damaged. The macula allows us to read and see fine details, so damage makes reading the newspaper, threading a needle, and adapting to indoor and outdoor light changes difficult or impossible. The number one risk factor for macular degeneration is tobacco, UV exposure, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity can all contribute to macular degeneration. Dr. Ericksen performs OCT yearly and monitors changes between 4-12 months depending on staging.