• age-related macular degeneration;
  • choroidal neovascularization;
  • risk factors;
  • stages;
  • treatment

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in older North Americans. The clinical spectrum, risk factors, pathophysiology, and potential therapeutic options for AMD warrant a careful review. Despite the growth in treatment options for this disease, there is no current curative therapy. Of critical importance is attention to modifiable risk factors—improvements in cardiovascular status, including smoking cessation, and routine ophthalmic monitoring for opportunities to provide early intervention. In addition, a low-vision assessment to investigate the potential use of visual assistive devices may be beneficial to any patient who has experienced a decrease in vision. Finally, education regarding the clinical course of age-related macular degeneration and accurate information with respect to the known benefits of available treatments will impart a better understanding of this disease to patients.