By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You may have heard the word macula, but do you know what it is?

Your macula makes up a small portion of your retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of your eye. It has a major job – helping you see sharply enough to thread a needle, read the fine print, or decipher street signs.

Unfortunately, with age, changes to the macula can decrease the amount of detail in your vision. Driving a car, reading, or other daily tasks may become more difficult.

More than 2 million Americans have this condition, called macular degeneration. And another 8 million are at high risk. The best way to deal with it is to get an eye exam and get out in front of it.

While there’s no cure, treatment and lifestyle changes can slow the progression of the disease and protect your vision. So don’t wait.

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