Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

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Did you know that Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 or older?

Macular Degeneration occurs in two forms:

  • Dry AMD is the more common form, making up 90% of AMD cases. Caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula, it develops slowly and can cause mild to moderate vision loss.
  • Wet AMD affects only 10% of AMD patients, but accounts for 90% of all severe vision loss from AMD. It occurs when new blood vessels grow behind the retina, where they leak fluid and blood, disturbing the center of the visual field.

What are the symptoms?

  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • A dark or empty area in the center of vision

The following tests during a comprehensive eye exam can help detect AMD:

  • Visual acuity, an eye chart test that measures vision at various distances.
  • A dilated eye exam, which helps the eye care professional see the retina and look for signs of AMD.
  • An Amsler grid, which tests for wet AMD with a pattern of straight lines that look wavy to a person who has the disease.
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