Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is an eye condition that usually affects older adults and leads to loss of vision in the center of the vision field called the macula – located in the retina. The macula helps you see small details clearly.
Macular degeneration happens in “wet” or “dry” forms, with the majority of the people with the condition have the dry form.
Macular degeneration, which occurs due to the aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula, generally starts with the formation of small yellow or white pieces of fatty protein, called drusen, under the retina. This progressively makes the macula thinner and leads to it not working properly.
Vision loss with dry macular degeneration is typically gradual. For those who develop the condition, careful monitoring of their central vision field is critical. Any changes to the vision field should prompt an immediate visit to your eye care professional as the condition can change to wet macular degeneration, the more damaging of the two conditions. Approximately 10 percent of people with macular degeneration have wet AMD.
The wet form of macular degeneration happens when anomalous blood vessels begin to grow under the retina. These new blood vessels sometimes leak blood or fluid causing central vision to blur and distort. The longer these abnormal vessels continue to leak or grow, the more the risk of losing detailed vision. The faster wet macular degeneration is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of saving as much of your central vision as possible, which is why it is best to meet with an eye care professional as quickly as possible if you are experiencing some of the signs and symptoms of AMD.
Some of the Signs and Symptoms of Dry AMD are:
- Blank or blurry central vision
- Blurry distance vision
- Blurry reading vision
- Colors seem more pale than usual
- Need for increasingly bright light to see up close
- Colors appear less vivid or bright
- Trouble seeing when going from bright light to low light
Some Signs and symptoms of Wet AMD are:
- Central vision loss
- The appearance of dark gray or blank spots in your vision
- The size of objects may seem different in each eye
- Distorted vision
- Less vibrant colors in your vision and colors looking different in each eye