Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is a common eye disease that causes vision loss for older adults. AMD typically occurs as aging causes damage to the macula, a part of the retina that controls sharp vision. While it does not cause total blindness, AMD makes it harder for people to perform their daily routines, such as reading, driving, or doing any close-up work.
In this article, Lumen Optometric, known for high-quality eyeglasses and contact lenses, explains everything you need to know about AMD.
What Are the Different Types and Symptoms of AMD?
There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD, also called atrophic AMD, occurs when the macula gets thinner and progresses slowly over many years. It also has three stages: early, intermediate, and late. During the early and intermediate dry AMD stage, some people may not have any symptoms, while others may experience mild blurriness in their central vision.
On the other hand, wet AMD, also called advanced neovascular AMD, is a less common type of late AMD. It happens when abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye, which eventually causes damage to the macula. As such, wet AMD causes faster vision loss. It’s important to note that any stage of dry AMD can turn into wet AMD, but wet AMD is always late.
People with late AMD may notice straight lines looking wavy or crooked. They may also see a blurry area near the center of their vision, which may get bigger as time goes by. Some people report seeing blank spots or having trouble seeing in low lighting. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to see an optometrist immediately.
How Do Doctors Diagnose AMD?
One effective way to check if you have AMD is through an eye exam. Your eye exam doctor may also perform any of the following procedures to diagnose AMD successfully:
- Distance and near vision acuity tests
- Dilated eye examination (which also includes using an ophthalmoscope) — The pupil of your eye is dilated to allow your doctor to observe your macula at the inside back wall of the eye.
- Optical coherence tomography testing (OCT) — To gain a clearer picture of your macula and its supporting layers, OCT generates high-quality images of the eye.
Do you have more inquiries regarding proper eye care? Get in touch with our professionals at Lumen Optometric. We offer corneal reshaping services and more. Call us today at (626) 921-0199 or fill out our contact form to set an appointment.