Age-related macular degeneration is a painless condition in which the macular becomes damaged. There are two main forms, known as ‘dry’ and ‘wet’.
Wet macular degeneration is so called because tiny abnormal blood vessels grow behind the retina toward the macula. These leak blood or fluid, scarring the macula and leads to rapid loss of central vision. This condition can develop very quickly, so fast referral for treatment and urgent treatment is essential.
Dry macular degeneration is a gradual deterioration of the macula, usually over many years. In dry AMD the cells of the macula die off and are not regenerated. The term ‘dry’ does not mean the person has dry eyes, just that the condition is not ‘wet’ AMD.
Unfortunately, 10 to 15% of people with dry AMD also develop wet AMD. This is because new blood vessels grow to try to repair the damage to the macula. If you have dry AMD but notice a rapid change in vision it is vital to get an urgent assessment from your optometrist.
If macular degeneration occurs in one eye there is the possibility of it affecting the other eye within a few years. The speed of progression varies from person to person.
While AMD causes central vision loss and can have a devastating impact, it does not lead to complete blindness. You will still have your remaining peripheral vision.
Posted in: Macular Degeneration
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