Symptoms of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

The American Macular Degeneration Foundation recommends regular eye checks. This can help catch the early symptoms of dry or wet AMD. As with any disease, early detection leads to early treatments. You can then enjoy clear vision longer even as you age. Here are the AMD symptoms that you and your eye doctor must watch out for.


For Dry AMD

Dry AMD is common in individuals above the age of 50. It can lead to impaired central vision or blurry vision. This condition destroys the macula by breaking down its inner layers. The macula is responsible for giving your eyes a clear central vision. Here are the symptoms of dry AMD:


  • Central scotomas or central blind spots happen in the late stages of this disease. It is a debilitating symptom because it makes facial recognition, reading, and driving almost impossible

  • Drusen are yellow retinal deposits made up of proteins and lipids. Having larger drusen increases your risk for advanced dry AMD, which can lead to vision loss

  • Other symptoms are visual distortions, difficulty seeing in low-light conditions, and problems recognizing faces


Dry AMD can affect one or both eyes. The symptoms may be unnoticeable if only one eye has it. This is when the healthy eye compensates for the affected eye. It does not lead to complete blindness, but it does deteriorate the side vision.


For Wet AMD


Wet AMD occurs when the macula develops abnormal blood vessels underneath it. These new blood vessels may bleed, causing the macula to rise from its flat position. This then destroys the central vision. Wet AMD gets its name from the leaking fluids from the macula’s abnormal blood vessels.


Patients with this eye condition tend to develop quick vision loss in months or even weeks. The straight lines you see may appear wavy. This is because your macula is not smooth and flat anymore. Below are the specific symptoms of wet AMD:


  • A disciform scar is scarring underneath the macula. This is a white, circular scar made mostly of fibroblasts. It damages the retina, leading to vision loss. This is because disciform scars block the flow of nutrients that sustain the tissue underneath the retina

  • Submacular hemorrhage is a complication of wet AMD. This type of blood is damaging to the retina. It often leads to vision loss right away

  • New blood vessels underneath the retina. They impair vision. These blood vessels grow in the choroid, which supplies valuable nutrients and oxygen to the eye. The new blood vessels break through the membrane between the retina and choroid and form scarring. They also leak more blood, which is toxic to the retina


Understanding the symptoms of AMD can help motivate you to keep regular eye appointments. At Norwood Family Eye Care in Bartlett, Tennessee, we always guide our patients through their checkups and treatments. Please dial 901-617-8095 to schedule an appointment or ask about our AMD treatment packages.

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