How Age-Related Macular Degeneration Can Slowly Affect Vision
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is a serious condition that if left untreated can lead to the complete loss of your central vision. This condition typically affects people who are over 50 years of age and the early symptoms can be difficult to detect until it is too late. The two types of age-related macular degeneration are categorised as wet and dry. Dry AMD, the most common type of AMD, is the atrophy and thinning of the cells in the centre of the retina, also known as the macula. Wet AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessels which develop and grow under the retina.
Dry Macular Degeneration
- During the early stages of dry macular degeneration, the cells inside the retina begin to decline resulting in certain areas of central vision becoming blurry. This stage can be difficult to detect as this issue can go unnoticed.
- The blurring will worsen as dry macular degeneration progresses over time. Blind spots can develop and the size of the blurry area can increase. Certain symptoms can start showing, such as have difficulty distinguishing similar colours and shades apart from one another.
- During the late stage of dry macular degeneration, the retina’s cells will start to rapidly deteriorate. This results in large areas of the central vision becoming increasingly blurry. Other symptoms can include increased blind spots and areas of vision becoming distorted or ‘wavy’.
Wet Macular Degeneration
- In certain cases of macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessels can form and grow under the macula leading to bleeding and leaking in the retina over time. The deterioration of vision can be more noticeable and progress faster than dry macular degeneration. Symptoms can start showing such as a ‘curved’ or ‘wavy’ distortion of vision which can make it difficult to recognise faces.
- As wet macular degeneration progresses, issues such as blood vessels pushing through the macula can occur, resulting in leakage and leaving scar tissue. Areas can break down around the leakage which results in increased distortion of vision and more severe blind spots.
If you suspect you may be experiencing any symptoms of age-related macular degeneration, please schedule a consultation appointment with one of our macular degeneration specialists at one of our Northern Eye Centre clinics located in Epping, Swan Hill, Mildura or Heidelberg to determine what options of treatment are available to you. Visit our website to fill out an appointment request form and to find out more information, such as how to protect your eyes from macular degeneration.