Macular Degeneration

Call for an Appointment 919-681-3937

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration, is a leading cause of vision loss and requires prompt evaluation and treatment. Most people who develop the condition have the dry form, which can cause blind spots in your central vision. About 15% of people have the wet form of macular degeneration, which can lead to serious vision loss.

While there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, Duke retinal specialists use sophisticated imaging technology and the latest treatment advances to diagnose and manage the condition. We do everything we can to slow vision loss and maximize your quality of life.

Find a Macular Degeneration Doctor
Matching Results
Filter Results
Filter by:
Use My Current Location
Located Near You
Loading Results
Showing of Doctors
Load More View All

Treatments for Macular Degeneration

AREDS Formula Vitamins

The large-scale Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that high levels of vitamins and zinc may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 25%. The AREDS and AREDS2 formulations do not require a prescription and currently are the only treatment available for dry macular degeneration.

Injections for Geographic Atrophy

Regular injections of a new drug called pegcetacoplan can slow or stop vision loss in people with geographic atrophy -- the dry form of macular degeneration. This condition occurs in approximately 85% of patients in the late stages of macular degeneration. If left untreated, it can result in debilitating and permanent central vision loss. 

A new treatment for geographic atrophy, the dry form of macular degeneration, is now available. 

Anti-VEGF Injections

Medications that block or inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have proven effective at limiting the growth of new blood vessels and diminishing their injury to the retina. Monthly injections in or around the eye may prevent vision loss from wet macular degeneration.

Photodynamic Therapy

A dye is injected into your arm to make abnormal blood vessels in your eye sensitive to light. A low-power laser (“cold” laser) is then used to activate the dye, sealing off leaking blood vessels associated with wet macular degeneration.

Sustained Port Delivery System Implant 

A device called a port delivery system is surgically implanted. It continuously delivers anti-VEGF for at least six months to manage wet AMD. 

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.


Your retinal specialist will use a variety of imaging devices to conduct a thorough examination of your eyes, their structure, and nerves. Additional tests measure intraocular pressure, the extent of damage, and possible vision loss.

Dilated Retinal Exam

Dilation drops allow your doctor to get a better look at your lens, optic nerve, macula, and peripheral retina. 

Distance Visual Acuity

This test measures the accuracy of your vision by determining the smallest letters you can see on a chart.

Amsler Grid

A pattern of straight horizontal and vertical lines may appear wavy if you have macular degeneration.


Dye is injected into your arm to identify new or leaking blood vessels, as well as blood in the macula. Special imaging devices help your doctor see what cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Optical Coherence Tomography

OCT is a computer-guided device that creates a 3D image map of the front part of your eye, the optic and retinal nerves, and the macula. It detects changes in the thickness of the macula and looks for small defects that may be difficult to obtain during a visual field test. 

Home Dry Macular Degeneration Monitoring

Patients with dry macular degeneration should be consistently assessed for wet macular degeneration so it can be treated as early as possible. In addition to in-office exams, many of our providers offer an at-home monitoring system. A daily test with a special device detects changes in your central vision, which you may not notice on your own. If a change is found, the system alerts your doctor and an in-person examination is scheduled so you can begin treatment before significant vision loss occurs.

Call for an Appointment

Leaders in Macular Degeneration Research and Treatment

Leading Retinal Specialists
Our retinal specialists travel the country to lecture and teach courses on macular degeneration. Our experience and knowledge mean we are well versed in all the latest advances. You receive your care from some of the best retinal specialists in the country.

Latest Retinal Imaging Devices
We use sophisticated imaging technologies to create precise images of the inside of your eye. This helps us identify subtleties and patterns that guide our treatment recommendations.

Research Advancements
Our retinal specialists are also researchers whose goal is to improve treatments for important diseases. For instance, we played a major role in clinical studies that investigated the safety and effectiveness of the first FDA-approved drug to halt vision loss in people with the dry form of macular degeneration.

Low Vision Rehabilitation
If you are experiencing vision loss related to macular degeneration, we conduct a thorough evaluation of your needs and give you the tools and knowledge to optimize your visual function and maximize your quality of life.

Comprehensive Support
Our clinical social worker is available to help you cope with the psychological stress of vision loss, as well as other medical or environmental concerns.

Best Eye Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and is the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2024–2025.

This page was medically reviewed on 08/04/2022 by