Dry and wet Macular Degeneration
There are two main types of Age-related Macular Degeneration, namely the dry and the wet form.
Dry Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD)
Dry Macular Degeneration is characterized by the accumulation of yellowish debris called drusen in the macula. This accumulation of debris decreases the number of cones in the macula, causing vision to deteriorate. At this stage, small spots are observed in the central visual field. In a later stage, the small drusen can coalesce into larger drusen. As a consequence, one may observe a larger, blurred spot.
Dry AMD leads to a gradual loss of central vision, and eventually details can no longer be observed. Recognizing faces becomes difficult, as well as participating in traffic. Even watching TV and reading can become problematic. Dry AMD affects 80-90% of the people who suffer from Macular Degeneration. Furthermore, dry AMD may progress to wet Macular Degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration (wet AMD)
Wet Macular Degeneration is characterized by growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula. These new blood vessels are damaged and cause the bleedings and leaking which is typical for wet AMD. This condition is likely to result in a more rapid loss of vision than dry AMD. Rapid vision loss can occur in a matter of weeks or even days. Often, a suddenly distorted vision is the first symptom. 10-20% of the people with AMD suffer from the wet type.
Both types of AMD will not lead to total blindness, but they profoundly affect one’s daily functioning.
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