It happens when the small central portion of your retina, called the macula, wears down. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of your eye.
Because the disease happens as you get older, it’s often called age-related macular degeneration. It usually doesn’t cause blindness but might cause severe vision problems.
Another form of macular degeneration, called Stargardt disease or juvenile macular degeneration, affects children and young adults.