Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease causing poor vision in more than 10 million older Americans. The retina is the inner layer of the eye that captures light and turns it intoelectrical signals. When these electrical signals arereceived by the brain through the optic nerve, they are translated into images. The most sensitive part of the retina is the macula, the area responsible for sharp, detailed central vision that allows you to read, recognize faces, and drive. With AMD, this sharp central vision is lost, but peripheral (side) vision is preserved. This Patient Page is based on one previously published in the May 24/31, 2006, issue of JAMA.