Macular degeneration may be on decline

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January 12, 2011 4:56:22 AM PST
The disabling eye condition macular degeneration may affect less than 7 percent of the U.S. population ages 40 and older.

A study from the early '90's had put that number at more than nine percent.

The reason for the apparent decline is still not clear. Scientists say it may reflect changes over time in smoking behavior, diet, the use of antioxidant vitamins and zinc and other factors associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Macular degeneration involves damage to the center of the retina, which makes it difficult to see fine details.

The information comes from the "Archives of Ophthalmology."