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Updated July 19, 2014

Definition: Drusen are small yellow or white deposits that form in the retina or on the optic nerve head.

You may hear your eye doctor note the appearance of drusen during your next eye examination. Drusen are accumulations of extracellular material that build up in the eye. The detection of a few drusen is normal with aging eyes, with most people over the age of 40 having at least some drusen. However, large amounts of drusen in the macula is one of the most common early signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Eye doctors can detect drusen during comprehensive dilated eye exams.

The development of drusen may be associated with metabolic processes that occur normally in the body. However, normal cell by-products may accumulate and deposit in the eye over time, forming drusen. The progression of drusen deposits have been shown to slow with the addition of anti-oxidants and zinc supplements to the diet.

Common Misspellings: Droosen

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