Symptoms of Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

By Jeffrey Schultz on March 11, 2015

A man with a cataractThe team at Lifetime Eye Care believes in helping patients have great vision that lasts a lifetime. This is part of Dr. Jeffrey E. Schultz's primary mission as an eye care specialist, and it's why so many patients in the greater Cleveland area put their trust in him and his work.

Advanced eye care is about effective diagnosis and treatment that improve or preserves vision; it's also about patient education to ensure wellness at home. With this in mind, we'd like to look into the issue of age-related macular degeneration and its common signs and symptoms.

About Age-Related Macular Degeneration

It's important to explain the basic anatomy of the eye to understand the nature of this condition. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye. This tissue receives light and sends the information to the brain. The macula is the central part of the retina.

Macular degeneration is a condition in which the central portion of the retina breaks down, resulting in vision problems and gradual vision loss.

The Difference Between Dry AMD and Wet AMD

There are two kinds of AMD: wet and dry.

Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of the condition. In dry macular degeneration, the cells of the macula gradually breakdown and become thin, leading to the degeneration of the rods and cones.

Wet macular degeneration is rarer, accounting for just 1 in 10 cases of AMD. This occurs when blood vessels in the retina rupture and damage the rods and cones in the process.

Blurring or Blind Spots of the Central Portion of Your Vision

One of the most common symptoms of dry macular degeneration is the blurring of a person's central vision. In some cases, blind spots will occur and become larger over time as the condition progresses.

Visual Distortion of Straight Lines

Another common issue with macular degeneration is that straight lines appear curved or wavy. This visual distortion is a crucial early warning sign of the condition, and one of the many diagnostic tests that can be performed to identify macular degeneration will involve looking at a grid.

Difficulties with Recognizing Faces

With the above visual distortions in mind, it's not uncommon for people with macular degeneration to have issues with recognizing people's faces. The issue becomes more severe as the condition worsens.

Issues When Reading Printed Material

Another sign of macular degeneration is difficulty reading printed material. Words may become blurred or difficult to see. People tend to require additional light to read. Sometimes this is simply just a sign of aging, but it may also be the sign of this age-related vision problem.

Changes in Your Perception of Colors

Since macular degeneration gets worse with age, patients will likely notice changes in the way that they perceive colors. Colors that were bright and vibrant may begin to fade or become dull. It's important to have your eyes checked regularly so issues such as these can be discussed and further tests performed as needed.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Jeffrey E. Schultz

For more information about macular degeneration and how advanced vision problems such as these can be treated, be sure to contact our vision correction and eye care center today. Dr. Jeffrey E. Schultz and the entire team here look forward to your visit and helping you achieve optimal vision and eye health again.

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