Posted by: Georgia Eye Associates in General

Portrait of an older couple

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a constant issue all around the world for many people age 60 and over. AMD causes severe vision loss due to the deterioration of the macula—a central portion of the retina. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue located at the back of your eye and is an essential part of what makes your eyes work the way they do.

Due to how widespread this degenerative disease is around the world most have heard of AMD, but there are actually two types of AMD that people can develop:

  • Dry Form: Characterized by yellow deposits, called drusen, in the macula. In small quantities drusen aren’t usually an issue, but as they grow in size and quantity it can lead to the distortion and/or dimming of your vision—this becomes particularly apparent when trying to read. In the advanced stages of the dry form of macular degeneration the light-sensitive layer of cells in the macula thin and lead to the death of tissue in the retina. When the tissue in the retina dies it leads to blind spots in the center of your vision.
  • Wet Form: Characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels underneath the macula in your eye—called choroidal neovascularization. These abnormal blood vessels leak out blood and fluid into the retina causing distortion in your vision. These distortions can make straight lines look wavy and can create issues with blind spots in your vision. The bleeding can eventually form scars that lead to permanent loss in central vision.

The dry form of Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the most common type people suffer from. Only 10% of people with AMD suffer from the wet form, and a very small percentage of those with the dry form run the risk of developing the wet form.

As you get older it becomes increasingly more important to go in for regular eye exams to screen for symptoms of macular degeneration.

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