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When the macula degenerates

If you have macular degeneration light is still arriving at your maculas, but many of the cones are not functioning. You are not able to read the print easily, and if your macular degeneration is advanced, you are not able to read this print at all. However, your rods are functioning well and you still have your side vision.

Macular degeneration happens after mid-life and is called Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD for short. Its causes are unknown and it does not give you pain. Usually, it advances slowly, so you don’t notice any vision loss at first. Sometimes it advances more quickly. You can have AMD in one eye or in both. It has two forms: dry and wet.

Dry Macular Degeneration

AMD starts out as dry. A common early sign of Dry AMD is the presence of little yellow deposits underneath the retina. These are called drusen. There is a definite connection between their size and number and whether or not you have AMD. You would not be aware of them, but Dr. Thomas Eshun-Wilson will be able to see them when he performs an eye exam.

Dry AMD has three stages.

  • Early Dry AMD features few drusen and no symptoms or vision loss
  • Intermediate Dry AMD has one or more large drusen or many middle-sized drusen. You will begin to see a blurry spot in the middle of your vision. You might have trouble recognizing people and might need brighter light for reading.
  • Advanced Dry AMD involves the breakdown of macular cells, with the blurry spot enlarging and darkening. If you have AMD only in one eye, your overall vision does not seem as impaired as if you have it in both eyes.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet AMD, also called Advanced AMD, is far less common than Dry AMD. Nor does it have its own stages like Dry AMD. Abnormal blood vessels form and grow behind the retina but they are fragile and soon leak. The blood and fluid raise the retina up, towards the front of the eye, causing blurred and distorted vision. Macular cells deteriorate quickly.

You would probably notice that straight lines now look wavy. CONTACT US!