Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which the retina becomes severely damaged. It impairs a person’s central vision causing everything to appear blurry.
People with AMD often have difficulty reading faces as a result of their condition because they are not able to properly focus on internal features such as the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Study: AMD Patients Struggle with Facial Recognition
Researchers used a sophisticated technique that allowed them to make microscopic movies of the interior of the eye. They then studied these movies to see the movement patterns of the eyes and ascertain exactly where AMD patients were focusing as they looked at a face.
The findings were compared with a control group of patients without AMD to determine the AMD patients’ differences in perception.
Findings and Potential Treatment for AMD Patients
The AMD patients were more likely to have fixations on external facial features, in contrast to those in the control group who were more likely to focus on the internal features of the face. The AMD group also had an abnormality in eye movement patterns.
The authors of the study concluded that training in eye movement control and allocation of attention could improve face perception in individuals with AMD.
Evaluating Age-Related Macular Degeneration
If you or a loved one living in central New Jersey has AMD, contact Dr. Scharfman’s office for an evaluation. We regularly work with AMD patients to help live more comfortably with this persistent eye condition.